THE PRE-ENGINEERING PROGRAM promotes critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and real-world problem-finding and solving skills through hands-on, project-based assignments that engage students on multiple levels. Students enrolled in this CTE program have the chance to obtain credit at participating PLTW colleges and universities.

STUDENTS IN THIS PROGRAM begin with a foundational course, Introduction to Engineering Design, then move on to Principles of Engineering in their second year. Students can then choose between Digital Electronics or Computer Science Principles for year three, allowing them to cultivate an interest or explore a potential direction of career interest.

A FIRST Robotics Competition Team (FRC), with more than 40 students and mentors from the private industry, is an integral part of this pathway. The FRC team participates in multi-day events around New England with the goal of participating in the FRC World Championships. The team has also been awarded two of FIRST’s three most prestigious awards; the Rookie All-Star Award and the Engineering Inspiration Award.

Students in the program have access to cutting-edge equipment such as: Tensile Strength Tester, Trotec Laser Engraver, ShopSabre23 CNC Router, Grizzly G4003G Lathe, and Grizzly G0797 - 10” x 50” Mill.

Required & Recommended Courses


  • Intro to Engineering Design (Honors)*

  • Principles of Engineering (Honors)*

  • Digital Electronics (Honors)* or Computer Science Principles (AP)*#


    • Engineering Design & Development (Honors)*


    • Algebra II OR Honors Algebra II

    • Geometry

    • Pre-Calculus OR Honors Pre-Calculus

* These courses are affiliated with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the leading provider of STEM education in the U.S.

#College credit available

Credentials and Certifications

Work-Based Learning Requirement

In our increasingly complex global society, CTE students are expected to be prepared to enter the workforce of the future by participating in a continuum of purposeful Work-Based Learning (WBL) activities that align with their CTE Programs. WBL experiences can include an industry project, a school-based enterprise, a service-learning project, or an internship.

WBL connects the CTE Program with the real world of work by providing students with the opportunity to interact with professionals in business and industry while applying what they are learning in the classroom. Through their involvement in WBL activities, students will also develop and demonstrate essential employability skills, such as responsibility, collaboration, and communication, that are applicable in all work environments.

National Technical Honor Society (NTHS)

The National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) recognizes outstanding student achievement in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and encourages educational excellence, skill development, and workforce readiness.

Pre-Engineering Program Eligibility Criteria:

  • Overall unweighted GPA of 3.0 or greater

  • Program unweighted GPA of 3.5 or greater

  • Enrolled in a CTE Program

  • Successfully completes:

      • Three CTE courses (3 credits) in the Pre-Engineering Program and is currently enrolled in a fourth course (at least three PLTW courses including Intro to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering)

      • Three years of Math and is currently enrolled in a fourth-year Math course, including at least Pre-Calculus

      • Two years of Science, including Chemistry and Physics

  • A score of Proficient or greater on the EoCA in each PLTW Pre-Engineering Class

  • Safety training equivalent to OSHA 10

  • Complete eighty cumulative hours of Work-Based Learning (WBL) and/or mentor-based program


  • Special recognition at Graduation

  • NTHS scholarships

  • Other unique member privileges

  • Resume builder

Learn more at

RI Pathway Endorsement

Seniors enrolled in a STEM Academy CTE Program are offered the ability to base their Senior Passion Project on the Capstone Class, Project Lead the Way's Engineering Design and Development (PLTW EDD). PLTW EDD is a project-based course that can be taken by any STEM Academy student in their senior year.

Seniors enrolled in a CTE Program are encouraged to base their Senior Passion Project on their CTE Program. Senior Passion Projects based on the student’s CTE Program is a requirement to qualify for the RI Pathway Endorsement Council Designation.

Program Summary at a glance

For more information about this program contact the Career Programs Supervisor at or 401-710-7579.

Click here to view the Pre-Engineering Program flyer