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PLTW Hosts Inaugural Sparking Curiosity: A PLTW Launch Conference

PLTW Hosts Inaugural Sparking Curiosity: A PLTW Launch Conference

PLTW hosted the inaugural Sparking Curiosity: A PLTW Launch Conference in St. Louis, Missouri last month. This three-day conference provided an exceptional opportunity for PLTW Launch teachers and administrators representing 33 states to get hands-on with PLTW Launch modules, expand and fuel their network, and learn about topics focused on early STEM education.

Here are some highlights from Sparking Curiosity.


Opening General Session with PLTW President and CEO Dr. David Dimmett 

The opening general session featured talented PLTW students from the St. Louis area who sang, danced, and shared why they love PLTW. Dr. David Dimmett welcomed almost 450 elementary educators and shared statistics about early STEM education and recent experiences visiting PLTW Launch classrooms. This presentation highlighted the importance of what PLTW Launch educators do daily and encouraged connections throughout the rest of the event.  

Hands-On with PLTW Launch Modules

The PLTW Launch Exploratorium gave educators the opportunity to interact with all 42 PLTW Launch modules. Throughout the event, teachers and administrators had access to this dedicated space to learn about PLTW Launch modules, connect with PLTW Team Members, and have their questions answered. 

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Storage Solutions for PLTW Launch Classrooms

PLTW Launch educators toured a PreK-5 model classroom that was set up to show how PLTW Launch module equipment and supplies can be stored. Teachers were able to connect and share tips and advice on classroom set up and equipment storage.  

Opening Celebration at City Museum

At the conclusion of day one, attendees boarded shuttles to the famous City Museum in downtown St. Louis, an interactive architectural playground featuring multi-story slides, exhibits, games, and more. Attendees enjoyed exploring, seeing a circus performance, and sampling food options spread throughout the museum. 

Inspiration from Marisa Wolsky and Ron Clark

Keynote speakers Marisa Wolsky, Director of Children’s STEM Media at GBH Kids and an executive producer of PBS Kids’ Work It Out Wombats!, and Ron Clark,  teacher and administrator at his award-winning and internationally acclaimed middle school in Atlanta, GA, delivered educational and inspiring messages about their journeys as educators. Marisa Wolsky shared about her career of turning STEM education into media and the power of early STEM education and computational thinking. Ron Clark shared stories about his early teaching career and the lessons he has learned along the way leading to the creation of The Ron Clark Academy.  

PLTW has led and supported great teaching and learning for over 25 years. Our passion for education drives us to continually innovate, inspire, and support our incredible network of educators. We are proud of the success of the Sparking Curiosity Conference and the powerful impact it has had on our PLTW Launch educators. Together, we will continue to shape the future of education and empower every student to be STEM-successful.