Seattle Public Schools

Programs and Career Pathways

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Pathways

Is this the right pathway for me?

  • Do you enjoy solving problems and exploring how things work? 
  • Are you interested in learning about and applying scientific principles and technology? 
  • Do you have a passion for innovation and a desire to make a positive impact on the world? 

What is a STEM Pathway?

Students eager to be at the vanguard of 21st-century technology innovation and problem-solving will find plenty to keep them captivated in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Career Cluster. 

Robot on board for class activity

The Engineering and Math pathway focuses on planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services, including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services. Those who choose careers in this pathway apply essential math and science content and skills in a real-world context. 

What sort of work would I do?

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) offers a wide array of exciting and diverse career opportunities. In science, you can become a biologist, chemist, or physicist, exploring the mysteries of the natural world. Technology careers include roles like software developer, data scientist, and cybersecurity analyst, focusing on innovation and problem-solving. Engineering opens doors to professions such as civil engineer, electrical engineer, or aerospace engineer, involving the design and creation of structures and systems. Mathematics leads to careers like mathematician, statistician, or actuary, where analytical skills are applied to solve complex problems. STEM fields are dynamic and offer a pathway to contribute to advancements in various industries, from healthcare and environmental science to information technology and beyond. 

Leads to these Careers

  • Environmental Scientist 
  • Aerospace Engineer 
  • Civil Engineer 
  • UX/UI Designer 
  • Robotics Engineer 
  • Statistician 
  • Geoscientist 
  • Data Scientist 

In-Demand Occupations

Typical Education Required Career Title Average Annual Salary Job Outlook in WA State (2020-2030) 
Associate’s Degree (or Certificate) Civil Engineering Technologist $74,383 7% increase 
Bachelor’s Degree Architectural and Engineering Manager $159,536 8% increase 
Master’s Degree Statistician $109,300 35% increase 
Check Career One Stop, Bureau of Labor Statistics for updated career trends

What Courses can I take now?

Check with your school counselor and administrators to find out which classes are available at your school.

Through hands-on engineering projects developed with NASA, students learn about aerodynamics, astronautics, space-life sciences, and systems engineering (which includes the study of intelligent vehicles like the Mars rovers. Students leave this class understanding how the laws and forces of physics allow for flight. They can identify and understand the parts of an airplane, aircraft propulsion, understanding radio navigation and airspace (ATC) regulations, and primary flight instruments. Students generate and perform non-destructive and destructive tests on a composite test section, and build and evaluate the design and flight characteristics of a model glider.

Course Numbers: HCT1829, HCT1830

The Civil Engineering Architecture course sequence introduces students to the engineering, construction and or architectural fields. Students will work with industry-standard Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software to gain state-of-the-art graphics training. Coursework includes instruction and hands-on training in: computer drafting, construction materials and processes, basic engineering mechanics, and architectural cost estimating. Additional topics covered include plot planning, floor and foundation planning, wall construction, window selection, stairway planning and roof construction.  

Course numbers: HCT4195, HCT4196 

Part of the Project Lead The Way (Pre-Engineering) program, this course sequence involves the study in applied digital logic. Students will be introduced to digital circuits found in video games, watches, calculators, digital cameras, and thousands of other devices. Students will study the application of digital logic and how digital devices are used to control automated equipment. The use of digital circuitry is present in virtually all aspects of our lives and its use is increasing rapidly. This course is similar to a first semester college course and is an important course of study for a student exploring a career in engineering or engineering technology.  

Course numbers: HCT1575, HCT2315 

Credentials: Dual Credit and Autodesk Fusion 360 Certification 

Part of the start of the Project Lead the Way (Pre-Engineering) Program, this is an introductory course that develops student problem solving skills, with emphasis placed on the development of three- dimensional solid models. Students work from sketching simple geometric shapes to applying a solid modeling computer software package. They will learn a problem-solving design process and how it is used in industry to manufacture a product. Students use Computer Aided Design System (CAD) is used to analyze and evaluate the product design. The techniques learned, and equipment used, are state-of-the-art and are currently being used by engineers.  

Course numbers: HCT1574, HCT2313 

Credentials: Dual Credit and Autodesk Fusion 360 Certification 

This is the third course in the Project Lead The Way (Pre-Engineering) Program and is a broad-based survey course designed to help students understand the field of engineering and engineering technology and its career possibilities. Students will develop engineering problem solving skills that are involved in post-secondary education programs and engineering careers. They will explore various engineering systems and manufacturing processes. They will also learn how engineers address concerns about the social and political consequences of technological change.

Course numbers: HCT1576, HCT2311   

In this course sequence, students use motors, actuators, infrared vision sensors, sound sensors, and remote controls to build robots. They learn about the electronics, physics and computer programming that make it possible for robots to work. Students design purposes for robots, then design, build, program, and operate them. Students learn how robots are shaping the future.

Course numbers: HCT2415, HCT2519

Clubs and Activities at SPS

Interested in learning more about STEM and Robotics careers? SPS students have the opportunity to deepen and expand their knowledge alongside their peers and teachers with Technology Student Association (TSA). TSA and equivalent clubs host competitive events, provide leadership opportunities, and helps student prepare for career and college. Find a chapter at your school here

What training do I need after high school?

Aerospace Engineer 

Robotics Engineer 


  • Pathways: Bachelor’s in Statistics or Applied Mathematics — get started at Seattle Central, South Seattle or North Seattle College. Learn more about math transfer degrees by clicking the preceding links.
  • Skills: Data analysis, probability theory, software proficiency 
  • Opportunities: Internships in research institutes, government agencies 

Explore the right fit post-secondary pathway for you using the SuperMatch college feature on Naviance

Questions or concerns? Contact content area specialist John Parker at