Poway High School
15500 Espola Road
Poway, CA 92064
(858) 748-0245

        the creative integration and application of science • technology • engineering • math


We are a Nationally Recognized PLTW Distinguished School and Certified PLTW Engineering Program



Congratulations to Poway High School’s Engineering Academy for being honored nationally as a PLTW Distinguished School for the 2019-2020 school year! This is the Engineering Academy's second year in a row to receive this honor! Poway High is one of just 143 high schools in the country to be recognized as a PLTW Distinguished School!



The Poway High School Engineering Academy and Pathway allows 9-12 grade students to take Engineering Academy courses for college or university credit side-by-side with an after school Robotics or Science Olympiad course. There are three areas of focus in the Academy and Pathway, namely, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Architecture, and Computer Engineering. Students interested in this exploratory route can enroll in an engineering course as long as they meet prerequisites. The Academy and Pathway are open to all students to explore potential career fields while becoming college ready and receiving college credits (See College Credit). Students interested in Robotics and Science Olympiad are encouraged to take Engineering Academy and Pathway courses. For more information, contact counseling at Poway High School.


Featured on https://www.engineerstribune.com at https://www.engineerstribune.com/the-poway-high-school-engineering-academy-and-pathway/


Note: All Engineering Academy and Pathway courses are dual College/University enrollment through PLTW for college credit with Rochester Institute of Technology; similar to Advanced Placement (AP). The foundational courses are also articulated with Palomar College. Students can earn transferable college credit through these institutions toward their engineering major. (See College Credit)



NEW! AP + PLTW: AP + PLTW gives students the opportunity to earn a credential that showcases their readiness for college and career, and demonstrates their STEM skills and interests to colleges and employers. The program will also provide students with special access to career-oriented opportunities like internships and &scholarships. More than 1,300 students received the AP + PLTW Student Achievement in its inaugural year. (For more info see College Credit, https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/exploreap/the-ap-experience/ap-project-lead-the-way, https://www.pltw.org/our-programs/ap-pltw or https://www.apandpltw.org/)

The New Cool! – Wood Shop, Metal Shop, Electronics, Coding and Robotics, all in one! – For Girls and Boys!


Like the movie October Sky, engineering is an exciting field for both girls and boys who want to create new innovations every day. Engineering Academy and Pathway students will be expected to fabricate products and become proficient in programming robots (microcontrollers) in C++. Students will become proficient in industry CAD and modeling software such as Creo (formerly Pro-Engineer), Inventor and Revit.  Students will learn to design products that are mock-ups and that actually work, such as cars, toys, houses and robots to name a few. They will learn the science and math behind the application of their engineering projects in order to understand and make them work. Students will fabricate parts using mills, lathes, laser engravers/cutters, industrial 3D Printers, and CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machines. They will have the opportunity to work with industry partner mentors and be part of a Robotics or Science Olympiad team. Check out the “New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts by Neal Bascomb. (For more information, see http://nealbascomb.com/first/ncool1.htm


Girls in STEM!


“If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone. We need all hands on deck, and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.”

- First Lady Michelle Obama, September 26, 2011


Hidden Figures: Inspiring STEM heroes for girls. A Hit with young women of color interested in STEM. "...a film that depicts the true story of the African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. These women, and many others, worked in the segregated West Area Computers, a division of Langley Research Center, as part of NASA during the Space Race against Russia. Their work directly contributed to John Glenn becoming the first American astronaut to make three complete orbits of the Earth. Check out https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/13/hidden-figures-inspiring-stem-heroes-for-girls/


Envision is a free all-day conference held at UCSD that exposes high school girls to career possibilities in science and technology. Check out http://ucsdenvision.wixsite.com/envision


Engineering Academy and Pathway for All Students (Choose Pathway or Academy)


The Poway Engineering Academy/Pathway is located at Poway High School (PHS) in Poway, California and open to all students. The Engineering Pathway was founded in 2013, with the Academy opening it's doors in the Fall of 2015. In the Spring of 2016 the Academy and Pathway became a certified PLTW pre-engineering certified program for college credit, consisting of a comprehensive series of courses designed for high school students who have an interest in the field of engineering. There are three areas of focus in the Academy/Pathway, namely, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Architecture, and Computer Engineering. The Engineering Academy/Pathway is open to all students in the Poway Unified School District (PUSD).  Students interested in participating in the Engineering Academy/Pathway must either currently attend PHS or submit a request to transfer to PHS. 


"The Academy" is a four year program with PHS academic distinction, which incorporates an internship and the opportunity to work one-on-one with professional mentors through Robotics or Science Olympiad.  "The Pathway" is the same series of courses that can be pursued in any order or quantity without distinction. This website is designed to provide details about the field of engineering, and to layout the Engineering Academy/Pathway courses and sequencing for students interested in the program.   


What is the Engineering Academy?


The PHS Engineering Academy represents a course sequencing that addresses the educational needs of students planning on a post- high school educational program in a two or four year college that leads to a career in an engineering field.  The Engineering Academy offers students the opportunity to explore potential engineering career paths and to prepare them for college.  The Engineering Academy is for any student grades 9-12 in PUSD that is contemplating a career in Engineering.  Students who wish to enroll in the Engineering Academy must complete the application process.  Application forms are available from the school site counseling department or from the PHS website. Students who complete the required coursework will receive an “Engineering Academy Certificate of Completion” recognition.  This is a prestigious honor only given to graduates of the Engineering Academy that can be mentioned on a college application and resume.   To receive this recognition, students must earn a “C” grade or better in each engineering course.  Students who decide to move from the Engineering Academy to the Engineering Pathway (see below), may request to do so at any time during their four years in high school.


Within the last three years since we have started the Engineering Academy we have had 17 that have either received their PLTW GOLD Certificate or completed the Academy with these majors:
10 Majoring in Engineering Fields
2 Majoring in Computer Science
1 Majoring in Architecture
3 Majoring in Business
1 Declined to report
Remember that we have three pathways, which include Mechanical Engineering, Civil Architecture and Computer Engineering. Because of how much writing we do in the class, Business is a very natural direction for a student, in which we have three students with a business major.
Of the 16 that have reported, all are attending college, namely:
1 UC Berkeley
2 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
1 University California San Diego
1 Purdue University
1 San Francisco State University
1 San Diego State University
1 Arizona State University
1 Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
1 California State University San Marcos
1 University at Monterrey Tech in Guadalajara, Mexico
1 University of Texas Arlington
4 Palomar Community College, then transfer to a University


What is the Engineering Pathway?


The PHS Engineering Pathway allows 9-12 grade students to take any course within the Academy without committing to the application.  Students interested in this exploratory route can enroll in any engineering course for any semester without making a commitment to the Engineering Academy.  If this route is selected, there will be no “Engineering Academy Certificate of Completion” recognition earned. The Pathway provides the opportunity for students to join the Engineering Academy at a future date as long as there is time to complete the required coursework.

Business / Industry Partnerships


The PHS Engineering Academy and Robotics Team is partnered with Northrop Grumman, Cubic and PLTW as founding sponsors. Additionally there is an annual advisory council where industry partners make recommendations to the Engineering Academy to bring curriculum, equipment and software up to current industry standards. Currently we have over 20 sponsors who have made a commitment to the Engineering Academy and Robotics Team: GitLab / TUV SUD America / Evolution Controls Inc. / ViaSat / BAE Systems / Qualcomm / Bayer Fund / DoDSTEM / Northrop Grumman / Palomar Technologies / Leidos / SES Secure E-Waste Solutions / Lockheed Martin / Clippard / City of Poway / INCOSE / PTC / Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems / Brain Corp / General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. / General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation / TechFlow / Senior Aerospace && Poway High and PUSD.


If you are interested in sponsoring the Poway High School Engineering Academy / Pathway or Robotics Team, please contact coordinator Rodger Dohm at rdohm@powayusd.com.

Founding Sponsors:

Go to Cubic Corporation home page 

Business Partners:




from over 200 providers:




(Go to http://www.firstinspires.org/scholarships, http://www.roboticseducation.org/competition-teams/scholarships/, and https://www.pltw.org/experience-pltw/student-opportunities)






(College Credit, Admission Preference and STEM Scholarships for Engineering Academy Grads, https://www.pltw.org/our-partners/college-and-university-partners)