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Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: PLTW Community Impact Awards

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: PLTW Community Impact Awards

New for 2024, PLTW’s Community Impact awards were created to honor and recognize PLTW students who are putting their classroom skills into real-world application.

Dozens of student-led projects from PLTW middle schools and high schools across the country submitted thoughtful, impressive and impactful nominations detailing the ways that they’re shaping and giving back to their communities.

Congratulations to our inaugural Community Impact Award winners!


Middle School Winners: JSTEM Academy, Converse, TX

Innovating for Neurological Rehabilitation


In Converse, Texas, students at JSTEM Academy are tackling a challenge close to their hearts: neurological rehabilitation. Led by their teacher, Ms. Angelena Watkins, Marley Hemby, Abigale Kodzo, Victoria Cortinez, and Annabell Cramberg are on a mission to design solutions for individuals facing neurological conditions.

Their goal? Crafting prototypes tailored to the unique needs of patients, from Traumatic Brain Injury to Parkinson’s disease. Their standout creation, the "Fidget Widget Board," has already made waves in local rehabilitation centers, symbolizing the power of innovation in healing. With empathy and ingenuity as their compass, these middle school students prove that age is no barrier to impactful change.

students and their teacher pose with PLTW leaders Students from JSTEM Academy were presented their PLTW Community Impact Award during a surprise assembly.


High School Winners: Woodstock High School

Addressing Walkability Challenges in Woodstock, IL

A group of high school students in Woodstock, Ill. realized that their hometown, known for its historic charm, faced a practical issue: walkability. With a current walkability score of 29 out of 100, the city lacks essential services within walking distance of key areas.

Driven by their experiences in PLTW courses and armed with research and creativity, Liam Hanson, Lucas Rubio, Hunter Vassar, and Peter Muschong, along with support from their teacher Mr. Jason Huber, devised comprehensive plans featuring new sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, and innovative amenities like little free libraries. Their mission was to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment that promotes safety, attracts businesses, and fosters community well-being.

students pose with community and PLTW leaders
Students from Woodstock High School presented their project at a local City Council Meeting.


Empowering Future Leaders

At the core of PLTW's mission lies the belief that students are not just learners but leaders. Through initiatives like the PLTW Community Impact Awards, these budding innovators are celebrated for their contributions and empowered to continue their journey of impact. Whether it's revolutionizing urban landscapes or pioneering healthcare solutions, these students are not just imagining a better world – they're actively building it, one project at a time.