PLTW Summit 2022 Day-2 Continues with Immersive Sessions to Enhance Skills

Day 2 of PLTW Summit 2022 was jam packed with hands-on engaging workshop sessions, an inspiring keynote speaker, and amazing networking experiences that brought both regional and PLTW program groups together.

PLTW Summit brings people together from across the country to hear directly from the teachers implementing, embracing, and building upon PLTW’s distinct instructional approach to teaching and learning. We caught up with some teacher attendees to hear what they were looking forward to most at PLTW Summit 2022.

  • “I’m looking forward to being able to take back what we are learning here to our school and being able to do our STEM certifications for the year.”
  • “Meeting new people and learning new ways to engage students so they can be successful in their career paths.”
  • “I’m excited about networking with other professionals in-person and getting back to that.”
  • “A session about bringing literacy into our Project Lead The Way classroom because that is something our school is really pushing for, and I really haven’t known how to do it.”
  • “Getting to see all my colleagues in person, having that relationship building, and being able to sit down and have those networking conversations that I’ve been missing over the last few years.”


PLTW Summit 2022 Presents Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin is an engineer, educator, former NASA astronaut, and NFL wide receiver. He served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on mission STS-122 (2008) and STS-129 (2009) helping to construct the International Space Station.

Upon hanging up his space boots, he led NASA Education and co-chaired the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEAM Education Task Force, developing the nation’s 5-year STEM education plan.

After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut and Senior Executive Service leader, he shares his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue STEAM careers.

In May 2017, Leland released his memoir, "Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances." In "Chasing Space," Leland shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, and examine the intersecting roles of community, perseverance, and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.

Melvin’s keynote resonated with attendees. See their favorite parts on Twitter with @PLTWorg and #PLTWsummit (select on the image to redirect to the #PTLWsummit feed).


What’s Happening in the PLTW Exploratorium?

Dr. David T. Conley joined us at PLTW Summit 2022 to talk about his book, “The Promise and Practice of Next Generation Assessment (Assessment, Accountability, & Achievement Series).” He’s the founder, chief executive officer, and chief strategy officer of EPIC. He also serves as President of CCR Consulting LLC, Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership, and founder and director of the Center for Educational Policy Research (CEPR) at the University of Oregon. Dr. Conley serves on numerous technical and advisory panels, consults with educational agencies nationally and internationally, and is a frequent speaker at national and regional meetings of education professionals and policy makers. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the topic of college and career readiness.

Learn more about Dr. Conley’s book here.


PLTW Curriculum Activations

In addition to the amazing PLTW national and classroom partners who are turning the PLTW Exploratorium into a playground of innovation, the PLTW Programs Team created immersive activation areas. Check out some of the activations below.

PLTW Launch

  • Experience Rosie's Runtime: A physically engaging unplugged computer science activity from PLTW Launch – where students get an introduction to computational thinking through interactive learning. Using a life-sized game board and "code cards," students direct Rosie the Robotic Dog through a maze. This activity introduces them to the way computers "think" by putting precise commands into the correct sequence to create a working program. As they help Rosie jump over mud puddles and gather bones, students have opportunities to learn from failed attempts by finding and fixing "bugs" in their program.
  • New 4th Grade PLTW Launch Module: Energy Exploration: Learn about our new 4th grade module, an age-appropriate exploration of phenomena that builds a foundational understanding of energy concepts. In the Energy Exploration module, students engage in observations, pose questions, and make connections as they explore energy-related ideas. The new module allows students to realize – energy is everywhere!
  • PLTW Design Process: An Augmented Reality Experience: See PLTW’s Launch Logs in a new way. Developed by Learning Futures at Arizona State University, this lightweight and easy-to-use augmented reality (AR) “pop-up” display brings additional dimension to learning. The project includes 3D models of PLTW characters, narrations, simplistic UI, and animated visual concepts. Initially developed to maximize compatibility across multiple platforms using webXR, the proof-of-concept could eventually be combined with a standalone mobile app. This allows AR-enhanced curriculum to be deployed at scale to all learners in the PLTW network.

PLTW Launch & PLTW Gateway

  • Educational Game Demonstration: Try your hand at new mini-games and share your feedback. Developed for PLTW Launch and PLTW Gateway by Legends of Learning, these games enhance student engagement. The PLTW Launch game focuses on the science of flight and the PLTW Gateway game focuses on mechanisms.
  • Drones to the Rescue: Fly a drone like PLTW students! In Activity 1.4 of Flight and Space, Drones to the Rescue, students explore the various uses of drone technology, examine how changing rotor rotation alters how a quadcopter drone flies, and analyze the forces of flight in a quadcopter. Students can also fly a mini quadcopter to complete a disaster relief mission. Guests can experience flying this drone to complete a mini-mission of their own to launch, navigate around an obstacle, and safely land.

PLTW Biomedical Science

  • Knee Pain Exploration and Fracture Repair: In Activity 1, explore injuries of the tendons of the knee, complete diagnostic testing using a model that allows you to “tear” each tendon, and take measurements to diagnose a sports-related injury. In Activity 2, reassemble fractured bones and determine how to repair the many fractures using plates and pins. Both activities are part of the Human Body Systems course rewrite.
  • Human Body Systems Virtual Lab Experience: The Development and Aging Research Lab virtual experience, built in Unity, is an opportunity to showcase what exciting developments are being implemented into the new Human Body Systems course rewrite. This is an example of a gamification experience that works in tandem with PLTW’s curriculum. In the lab, users take on the role as one of the research lab interns and walk through an innovative digital lab space in first person getting to know staff, learning about career opportunities, and experimenting with equipment.

PLTW Computer Science

  • Experience PLTW’s Game Design and Development Module with Roblox: Join us to experience some of the Roblox projects students develop in the Game Design and Development module. This module is available to students and teachers in all three PLTW High School programs – Computer Science, Engineering, and Biomedical Science.
  • Gaming with Force – Data Collection Using a Sensor: Play Lunar Lander, a game in PLTW’s Computer Science Principles course. Students use a Vernier Hand Dynamometer to play Lunar Lander and collect data about handgrip strength. Combined with a short survey about the player’s health and fitness, students analyze the data and create visualizations.
  • Cyber Lockdown Card Game: Play a round of Cyber Lockdown and learn how vulnerable data can be. Explore the different types of personally identifiable information and learn to protect your personal data from attacks in this fun card game used in PLTW’s Computer Science Principles course.

PLTW Engineering

  • Explore pi-top, the New Platform for PLTW’s Digital Electronics Unit 4: Check out some of the projects students develop in the new PLTW Digital Electronics Unit 4 released for the 2022-23 school year. Central to this new unit is the pi-top platform powered by a Raspberry Pi. With a rugged case and battery, students build and program solutions using the Python programming language.
  • Taste of PLTW Interactive Curriculum: Select each of the interactives to get a taste of PLTW’s custom interactive content. You can also access this page via the QR code. Open the built-in camera app on your compatible phone or tablet. Point the camera at the QR code. Tap the banner that appears on your phone or tablet. QR Code Web link

Workshop Sessions

There were so many great sessions in and out of the PLTW Exploratorium. From learning about curriculum updates, to going to Summer Camp, to Un-cooking an egg; there are sessions crafted to meet teachers where they are and provide them support and ideas to continue inspiring and supporting their students. See what attendees on Twitter had to say about their sessions.

See you tomorrow for a recap of PLTW Summit 2022 Day 3!