PLTW Summit 2022 PLTW Engineering Track In-person Workshop Sessions

PLTW Summit 2022 is coming to Orlando, FL Oct. 28-30, 2022, with workshop sessions to empower you with the tools and tips to maximize your time and enhance the learning experience for your students. See below for a first look at the sessions featured in our in-person PLTW Engineering track, and head over to to add sessions to your PLTW Summit agenda!

Increasing Access to Professional Pathways: Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Early College

Stephanie Phillips and Stephanie Thompson

Track: PLTW Engineering

This session discusses the Early College program at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (OCtech) and how PLTW played a major role in the growth and success of the program since 2008. PLTW courses are used as a pathway into engineering and advanced manufacturing programs and careers. The courses are taught on OCtech’s campus and high schools, private schools, and career centers in our area. We will be piloting a new career academy on our campus in fall 2022 where students will graduate high school with an associate’s degree in Applied Science and/or multiple certificates.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Know the history of and see the growth of the early college program from how it got started to the new career academy that will start in fall 2022.
  • Hear how we’ve collaborated and created articulation agreements with K-12 schools in our region to provide dual enrollment, utilized summer institutes, robotics camp, counselor camps, parent meetings, and tours to promote access to STEM careers.
  • Get a first glance at our new career academy that is being designed to allow students to graduate high school with an associate’s degree in applied science and multiple certificates. PLTW courses will be a foundation for this academy in our engineering and advanced manufacturing pathways.

Enhancing Curriculum with Industry and Community Partnerships

Kevin Wolfe

Track: PLTW Engineering

Nitro High School's PLTW Engineering program has developed an approach to building relationships that enhance the community, foster a positive school environment, and prepare students for fruitful careers and college experiences. While each area has a different combination of available partners, the approach developed at Nitro is replicable in a variety of contexts. The session outlines best practices for approaching local industry leaders, and will communicate the benefits these relationships provide students, schools, and whole communities. This presentation includes successful examples between Kanawha County Schools in West Virginia and a breadth of corporate, higher education, and community partners.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn best practices to approach industry and community partners about partnering with their programs.
  • Learn best practices to identify potential industry and community partners that can serve in a variety of capacities to best enhance the attendees' programs.
  • Learn ways to incorporate industry and community partnerships into classroom curriculum, enriching the partnership beyond advisory.

Expanding Microprocessors with the Micro:Bit using Sparkfun's Inventor Kit

Andrew Woods

Track: PLTW Engineering

Take your Micro Processor lessons to the next level. You might be in Unit 4 of Digital Electronics, Unit 3 of Engineering Essentials, or using microprocessors for another activity, and in need of supplemental and enrichment activities. Come learn how this kit of experiments work with the Micro:Bit to create a solid foundation of electronics and microprocessor knowledge.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Provide supplementary microprocessor and electronics activities to students.
  • Wire and program a variety of inputs and outputs to a microprocessor.
  • Provide expanded coding examples on the Micro:Bit to students.

Getting Engaged with a Hands-on Application of IED Curriculum.

Corey Duzan

Track: PLTW Engineering

Come to this engaging and hands-on session that explores the Backward Design Approach for curriculum development and planning. Let's explore how picking a useful project can give your students the opportunity to learn about multiple topics within the IED curriculum.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Investigate the IED curriculum to identify concepts and content that can be used to identify possible projects for your students.
  • Build a useful project/product to brainstorm different concepts and topics that are incorporated from the PLTW IED curriculum.
  • Collaborate and compile all curriculum topics and objectives and brainstorm formative assessments and materials that PLTW teachers can use while creating the project.

Designing and Fabricating Learning and Teaching Aids for Increasing Student Achievement in Introduction to Engineering Design

Craig Hughes and Todd Benz

Tracks: PLTW Gateway, PLTW Engineering

This workshop focuses on using computer-aided design (CAD) programs like Autodesk Fusion 360 and AutoCAD to design and fabricate teaching tools to help teachers implement Introduction to Engineering Design and to support different learning styles (audio, kinesthetic, and visual). Topics include learning to use a dial caliper, holes and hole notes, section views, designing for manufacturability, and several topics with the Automata such as cam displacement, cam motion comparison, and Automata prototype fabrication. When applicable, three methods of fabrication will be explored: traditional tools and materials, 3D printing, and laser cutting/engraving.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Utilize various techniques to increase student achievement, and promote lesson efficiency, and organization within the classroom and laboratory.
  • Apply CAD skills to design teaching aids for classroom use.
  • Select and use different methods (traditional prototyping methods, 3D printing, laser cutting) of fabrication (depending upon resources) to create learning and teaching aids, and prototyping equipment.

PLTW and Entrepreneurship-Inspiring Students for Innovation and Business!

Lisa Souza, Kelly Wilson, and Mary Murphy

Tracks: PLTW Gateway, PLTW Engineering

This session will share the highly successful implementation of pairing PLTW Gateway and High School implementation with entrepreneurship, inspiring creativity, innovation and business mindset for grades 6-12 in Collier County School District, FL. District administrators will share brief hands on activities, student work samples, community partnerships examples, and alumni stories of success with a focus on the value of integrating PLTW with entrepreneurship to develop skills for future success. The session will close with PLTW representative and Collier School administrators providing next steps and suggestions for district level implementation.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Gain an understanding of the units and courses that include entrepreneurship activities embedded in the PLTW curriculum in grades 6-12, and how these inspire career learning with a business mindset.
  • Apply scenarios to their student population and select strategies within their PLTW programs to make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.
  • Formulate a plan of implementation options to share with their district administrators to build student skills in entrepreneurship coinciding in collaboration with their selected PLTW program (6-12).

Things in My PLTW Classroom That Just Makes Sense

Kelly Garcia

Tracks: PLTW Gateway, PLTW Engineering

If you are looking for tips and tricks to make your classroom run more efficiently, this is the session for you! Learn about strategies for organization and storage, as well as useful tools that support classroom activities and classroom management. We’ll also discuss tips for implementing PLTW curriculum so you and your students can focus on learning!

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn tips for organizing and storing PLTW course materials.
  • Learn about some items that support classroom activities and classroom management.
  • Learn tips for implementing PLTW curriculum.

Promoting PLTW Programs

Julie Wood, Susan Jones, and Carol Bonn

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering

High school students have many options to choose from when selecting classes. We want to make sure that the PLTW CS and Engineering classes are enticing, rigorous, and informative for our students, their parents, and counselors and administrators. In order to do this, we as the course teachers often have to “take our classes on the road”. In this session we will talk about several ways to promote your programs in a fun and informative way.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Participants will be able to understand the different ways of recruiting for their PLTW classes.
  • Participants will be able to learn about some of the different extra curricular activities that support their PLTW classes.
  • Participants will discuss their own experiences with promotion of their PLTW courses.

Software Developer Apprenticeship - Our Story After One Year

Doyle Massey

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering

Join us to learn how we created a Software Developer Apprenticeship partnership from the ground up. In this session, you can listen and ask questions to representatives from the school district and a Fortune 500 company about their experiences in this endeavor. The session also covers how and why we created the partnership, the obstacles that we had to overcome to allow high school students to be successful in this apprenticeship, and feedback from both students and our business partner one year later.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the course requirements for students to participate in the apprenticeship along with the skills that they are expected to know.
  • Hear from our community partner on the computer science practices being taught in the classroom and how they apply to the real world.
  • Learn about how the district was able to find the community partners to create this apprenticeship.

Leveraging Community Partnerships

Michael Rubin

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

Uxbridge High School (UHS), a small, suburban, public high school in central Massachusetts, has leveraged partnerships with local industry to create authentic learning opportunities for students and curriculum support for students. In doing so, the PLTW programs at UHS have been used to model a variety of other programs across the state and region, as the school merges these partnerships with traditional content areas in an effort to reimagine what school looks like.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the nexus between PLTW programs and effective industry partnerships.
  • Leave this presentation with a variety of practices that can be used with faculty, support staff, families, students, and community partners to help drive improvement to learning across all areas.
  • See how a whole-school approach to industry partnerships has had a positive impact on the enrollment and performance in PLTW programs.

Robotics Teams: Leveraging PLTW Classroom Experiences to Support Robotics Teams

Philip Youngblood and Matt Anderson

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Gateway

Come learn how to tap into your PLTW programs to build and enhance your robotics team experiences. See how our district has built robotics classes around our PLTW programs, and how to implement classroom knowledge and skills to support your robotics teams. Maximize the value of your PLTW investment and discuss how successful robotics teams can widen your program exposure and help tap into other community resources.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn how to enhance PLTW pathways with robotics class and see how we use the VEX platform to get students started with competition robots, programming, and skills challenges in class.
  • Learn what skills and knowledge students can implement in a competition robot environment. These include CAD/CAM modeling, design process, electronics, programming, teamwork, machining, CNC, and much more.
  • Discuss how robotics teams can help widen exposure in your community and promote your programs.

The Power of Gaming: Enhancing Your Program with eSports, Gaming, and Game Design

Nathan Nolte and Jerry Iserloth

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Gateway

Gaming is more popular than ever. How can you tap into this common interest of both your current and potential PLTW students? Find out how esports, gaming, and game design can enhance and expand the reach of your PLTW program. From incorporating game design into current PLTW courses to starting a co-curricular competitive scholastic esports program, there are many ways to enhance your PLTW and STEM programs with gaming and game design.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn how gaming and game design can be incorporated into the PLTW classroom.
  • Learn about starting and running a co-curricular esports program.
  • Learn about making connections with colleges and the community through esports and gaming programs.

Incorporating Game-based Learning into Your Classroom Experience

Myrtis Smith

Tracks: PLTW Gateway, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science

Game-based learning is about incorporating games into learning activities. Games provide a safe learning environment, help teach soft skills, and help create a more student centered classroom. This interactive workshop shows how easy it is to incorporate a wide variety of games into your everyday teaching. Games can be used to preview material, assessments, homework, review, and so much more. Games can be online, offline, high-tech, or low-tech. Incorporating more games into your classroom does not require a lot of additional prep and can go a long way in getting your students more engaged.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn the difference between gamification and game-based learning.
  • Learn easy ways to incorporate games into every aspect of their teaching.
  • Practice using a variety of games in order to learn when and how to incorporate games into their course.

3D Printing Made Simple for Education

Brian Bobbitt

Tracks: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science

Join our session to check out different styles of 3D printers. See how 3D printing enhances STEM instruction through different implemented projects that are proven successful. You’ll get the chance to use free software that can make innovative ideas come to a reality on a 3D printer.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the different types of 3D printers, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Know how to analyze the different types of filaments available and how to use them most effectively.
  • Have a plan to implement 3D printing in your own classroom.

Create an Action Plan for Implementing and Sustaining a PreK-12 PLTW Program

Janet Cornell, Tiffany Shaw, and Paul Dunlap

Tracks: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science

Discover how a school in Ohio created, grew, and maintained a thriving PreK-12 PLTW program. From its humble beginnings in 2008, Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools has steadily expanded its course offerings, trained staff, and continually increased the number of students impacted. Their PLTW program consistently achieves national, state, and local recognition, and serves as a model for schools looking to implement a robust PreK-12 PLTW program. Learn what is needed to garner community and industry support as you build and sustain your PLTW Program.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Create an action plan to assist with implementation of your PLTW PreK-12 Program.
  • Develop an understanding of the sequential process necessary to build a highly successful PreK-12 PLTW program and earn methods for maintaining student engagement for PLTW courses from preschool through graduation.
  • Learn strategies for enlisting and maintaining financial support from community businesses, associations, and individuals.

Leveraging Literacy in the PLTW Classroom

Todd Williamson

Tracks: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science

You've probably heard "Kids read in every class, so you're ALL Literacy Teachers" but what does that look like in the PLTW classroom? Join in for a session on two low-stress, high-impact literacy strategies that can be used in PLTW classes across the full range of PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, and PLTW High School programs. Walk away from this session with ideas you can implement next week!

Participants completing the session will:

  • Brainstorm the role that literacy plays in PLTW classrooms, and conversely, the role PLTW classrooms play in literacy education.
  • View, analyze, and create examples of “Top Down Concept Maps” for topics within their PLTW modules, units, or courses.
  • View, analyze, and create examples of “Two Column Notes” aligned with topics in their PLTW modules, units, or courses.

Creating a PLTW Implementation Plan

Jamie Mathews and Stephanie Mason

Tracks: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

In this session, participants will learn about how the DeSoto Parish School District revamped their STEM offerings using PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, and PLTW High School curriculum. Investigate the strategic planning that occurs between district and school leadership teams in order to increase student access to meaningful STEM programs. The collaborative effort requires creative scheduling and staffing solutions to meet the needs of the diverse student population in the parish.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Identify the unique challenges DeSoto Parish Schools faced when implementing PLTW programs in schools across a district with diverse student populations.
  • Use sample plans provided to determine how to best plan for future implementation of PLTW in K-12 schools.
  • Be better prepared to seek support from district leaders including your Superintendent, Human Resource Manager, STEM Coordinators, or other personnel needed to successfully implement a strong PLTW program.

Make Your Curriculum and Technology Work for All Students: Tools for Equitable Instruction

Sarah Van Loo and Bill Van Loo

Tracks: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

The past three years have highlighted many of the most challenging aspects of teaching in the current era of education. Challenges in creating engaging experiences for learners and authentic connections with students abound.

How can teachers make their classroom experiences accessible and engaging for all students today? In this session, we’ll explore and share a number of strategies, including practical ways for implementing Universal Design for Learning, understanding how they can use good information design, and digging into case studies that demonstrate how to make the most of technology to engage and communicate with students and families.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Discover how to design instruction that benefits all students. Working in small groups, solve classroom scenarios and walk away with specific and practical strategies for your classrooms.
  • Gain an understanding of how to maximize learning management system (LMS) to engage and reach students. Specific strategies for organization, communication, and access will be discussed and shared.
  • Learn information design strategies that empower them to convey content and instruction effectively and efficiently to students across multiple platforms. Examples of using these strategies across a variety of tools and platforms will be shared and explored.

Teach One, Teach All: PLTW for Multilingual Learners is PLTW for Everyone!

Melinda Alvey

Tracks: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

PLTW is for everyone! Adapting your curriculum to multilingual learners enhances your classroom and provides access to your content for young minds from all over the world. This isn't an easy task, but we can implement some simple ideas to begin circumnavigating the complexities of the English language and return the focus to your content. Walk away from this session with tangible examples for teaching multilingual learners, specifically in the secondary classroom.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn how to use graphic organizers. Graphic organizers are more than just note-catchers, T-charts, and a buzzword for interviews! Created the right way, these tools engage all students in the "wordy" parts of your lessons, organize the language visually, and allow your concepts to shine through.
  • See how to use images to navigate barriers. If you have multilingual learners in your class, you might be looking for ways to use Google Translate -- instead, think Google Images. The answer to a language barrier is not always (and often isn't!) more language.
  • In order for our students to grow in their ability to speak and write, they need targeted language supports. Speaking and writing are often used for students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts, but we can also use verbal and written language supports to drive the learning of a concept.

Biomedical Science and Engineering: A Perfect Capstone Together

Bethany A. Kelly and Todd Barney

Tracks: PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science

Join this session to see how two teachers co-taught the PLTW Biomedical Science and PLTW Engineering classes to benefit all of the students. By utilizing both curriculums, the students were able to develop stronger research skills, as well as design and development skills to increase the depth of their capstone projects. Take part in this discussion of best practices and hear findings from using this model for the past two years.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Hear peer stories about the process of combing biomedical innovations and engineering design and development.
  • Discuss the collaboration process involved in combining both disciplines.
  • Take away a framework for students in both capstones.

Rochester Institute of Technology PLTW Undergraduate College Credit

Deborah Cooper, George Zion, and Sarah Pillittere

Tracks: PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

In this session, participants are given an overview of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) PLTW undergraduate college credit program and participate in an in-depth discussion about the credit registration process, benefits of college credit, and the transferability of credit.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the RIT PLTW undergraduate college credit program including: courses, student eligibility qualifications, timeline/important dates; Benefits for students; Benefits for schools.
  • Understand the credit registration process including: Teacher role and Student/parent roles.
  • Allow participants to ask questions and view online registration and website, (timing allowed).

Expanding PLTW in Small Rural Schools

Jenifer Elser and Karen Degel

Track: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

Methodology to implement a strong PLTW program in a small rural school can seem impossible. Budget constraints, teacher shortages, and dwindling enrollment are just a few of the many obstacles small schools face in implementing and growing their PLTW programs. While it may appear daunting, expanding and advancing the programs in these conditions is possible. This session illustrates the journey one small rural school took to grow their PLTW program encompassing all grades, bringing relevant STEM experiences to students from early Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Conceptualize the methodology of implementation and growth of a PLTW program in a small, rural school. Attendees will strategize growth and implementation of PLTW in their own classrooms and districts.
  • Formulate methods for building community partnerships while growing their own PLTW programs. Attendees will brainstorm possible guest speakers, field trips, connections with local universities and professionals that may serve as community partners in a growing PLTW program.
  • Assess the benefits of transitioning to the PLTW curriculum specifically in a small, rural setting. Attendees will envision a growing PLTW program in their school and community.

Program a pi-top: A New Option for Digital Electronics Unit 4

Carol Kinnard, Gerald Holt, Christopher Patterson, Sheila Robles, and Wyatt Dumas

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering

Explore the latest enhancement to Digital Electronics Unit 4. We’ll introduce you to the pi-top, a device based on the Raspberry Pi minicomputer. The pi-top combines digital making and Python coding so your students can make portable real-world systems that can go anywhere. In this session, you will learn about the pi-top see many of the projects your students will build throughout the unit, including a demonstration of Unit 4's culminating problem, an escape room. All participants should bring a laptop to this session. Optional: Bring a pi-top with the Electronics Kit.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Create logic using a programming language.
  • Design, interpret, and/or modify a state machine based on specific design requirements to communicate the design.
  • Generate multiple potential solution concepts.

PLTW Common Capstone - Open Review

Jason Rausch and Brendan Murphy

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science

In school year 2021-22, PLTW developed and tested an iteration of Engineering Design and Development titled PLTW Common Capstone. The goal of this test was to determine if the current course could be modified to be more inclusive of students from all three pathways (PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, and PLTW Biomedical Science) with little to no disruption for current Engineering Design and Development teachers and students.

In this session, current Engineering Design and Development, PLTW Computer Science, and PLTW Biomedical Science teachers and participants are asked to provide feedback and insight on additional resources created to support a PLTW Common Capstone.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn how PLTW Common Capstone builds on and enhances the current Engineering Design and Development curriculum.
  • Learn how PLTW Common Capstone supports PLTW Computer Science students and teachers.
  • Learn how PLTW Common Capstone supports PLTW Biomedical Science students and teachers.

Connecting Students to Industry: Leveraging Career-Based Learning Opportunities

Erin Dillon, Steve Peterson, Derek Read, and Keith Killebrew

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

A panel of industry and district partners, such as those featured in PLTW impact profiles, share insights into creating and leveraging career-based learning opportunities for students. Learn how being intentional about career-based learning experiences, as well as collaboration with industry and the community can make a difference for student success.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand how career-based learning can improve student outcomes.
  • Gain strategies for creating or improving career-based learning opportunities.
  • Gain strategies for establishing or improving partnerships with local industry and their community to provide career-based learning opportunities for students.

Improving Teacher and Student Performance with Informative and End-of-Course Assessments

April Moon, Jess Borges, Jonathan Smith, and Rachel Allard

Tracks: PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, PreK-12 Leadership

In this session, you’ll learn how one district turned their students' End-of-Course (EoC) Assessment scores into a continuous improvement plan for their PLTW programs. The district's CTE leaders share how they analyzed their campuses PLTW EoC Assessment reports from different angles to identify areas for improvement and areas of strength. We’ll also look at different ways that district and high school leaders can help support their teachers through professional development opportunities related to Informative and EoC Assessments.

Participants completing the session will:

  • See different professional development opportunities that districts can provide for their teachers to enable them to better prepare students for a successful EoC Assessment experience.
  • Discuss the variety of ways that PLTW's student EoC Assessment performance reports and data can be analyzed to help districts identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.
  • Learn how one district turned EoC Assessment scores into a continuous improvement plan.

PLTW Summit 2022 is a new and improved event designed to meet educators where they are and give them the tools and tips to facilitate an engaging and actionable learning experience for their students.

Join the experience on Oct. 28-30, 2022 either onsite at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, FL or virtually through our engaging and accessible online platform. Registration includes access to general sessions, workshop sessions, guest speakers, sponsoring partners, networking opportunities, and more.