What is Project Lead the Way (PLTW)?

PLTW is a national nonprofit that develops STEM curricula for K-12 students. At my high school, I am enrolled in PLTW's four year engineering pathway. I started taking this class because I had a growing interest in STEM, particularly in software engineering.

This year I am taking Engineering Design & Development, the capstone course. Normally, students would work together in class to work in groups building a solution to a design problem; but things are different this year!

Problem Statement

“Not in my backyard.”

This is the gut reaction that NIMBYs have when they realize that some form of homeless shelter will be built in their neighborhood. Though homelessness is a well-known and targeted issue in Los Angeles, there still are approximately 66,436 homeless people. In light of COVID, this problem is only compounded. However, the biggest impediment to building new housing and homeless shelters isn’t legislation or funding-- it's opposition from people who might be affected by the proposed housing solution. The best difference that can be made to solve this issue comes from garnering the support of housed communities and individuals.

Logo for my engineering capstone group

Final Product

In this website we strive to work together to solve the homeless crisis by learning what actions we can take to be more informed and more respectful of individuals without homes. While learning, we hope to lessen the stigma people hold and reverse some of the prominent stereotypes that impede progress.

Link to website

Initial Elevator Pitch

Additional Links

Official Project Poster

Link to Slides (modified)

Website Outline

  • Landing page
    • What the website is
    • Statistics about homelessness
    • An informative site that examines both sides of the issue
    • Call to action to donate
  • About Us
  • Mission Statement
  • Education
    • Individuals can find information about homelessness such as statistics, guides on how to behave, personal accounts from homeless individuals, and other resources.
  • Donate
    • individuals can find places to donate money, clothes, food, find volunteer opportunities, etc.


You can interact with our UI prototype here.

Cost Analysis

Website cost analysis


02/03/2021 - Choosing a technology stack!

While this list is tentative, we will most likely use the following to build our site:

  • Netlify to host our website,
  • Sanity.io for our content management system, and
  • Gatsby.js, a static site generator, to code our website.

We will also host our code on GitHub. Once that's ready, I will add an update here.

03/04/2021 - Development

We are now in the building stages of our first prototype. While the group is writing and curating content for the site, I am developing the website locally on my laptop. Once I have implemented our Figma layout, I will link to our GitHub repository.

05/25/2021 - PLTW Capstone Completed!

We've completed the PLTW capstone course, and everything is linked at this section.

Made with Gatsby and smiles by Isabelle Wagenvoord