PLTW Summit 2022 PLTW Computer Science Track Virtual Workshop Sessions

PLTW Summit 2022 is available online for the first time! With workshop sessions to empower you with the tools and tips to maximize your time and enhance the learning experience for your students and opportunities to connect with industry leaders this is sure to be a critical stop on your professional development roadmap for the 2022-23 school year. See below for a first look at the sessions featured in our virtual PLTW Computer Science track, and head over to to add sessions to your PLTW Summit agenda!

Bringing Cybersecurity to Your School Safely with PLTW

Randy Mills

Track: PLTW Computer Science

There will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2025. There is an opportunity to give our students the chance to fill those high-tech positions. Schools and districts can be nervous about this class. In this session we’ll take a look at the PLTW Computer Science, cybersecurity curriculum and develop plans to bring this to those reluctant schools and districts. Growing these programs is exciting and will provide deeper computer science programs around the country.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the curriculum and how it fits into a broad computer science program.
  • Understand the APB design process as it applies and is connected to cybersecurity.
  • Develop an “elevator speech” as a way to share the value and need for the cybersecurity class in their schools and districts.

Continuous Improvement Through Formative Assessments in Computer Science

Nimmi Arunachalam

Track: PLTW Computer Science

Summative assessments are of learning while formative assessments are for learning. Join this session to discuss the various types of formative assessments that are effective in a computer science classroom of diverse learners and how they can be deployed for continuous improvements in student learning. Workshop materials sourced from Computer Science in K-12, an A-Z handbook on teaching programming, edited by Dr. Shuchi Grover.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the difference between summative and formative assessments in general, and specifically with teaching computer science.
  • Learn about the various formative assessments that are possible in the computer science classroom and understand the formative assessment matrix to pick the right formative assessment for the purpose.
  • Learn to create a specific type of formative assessment called Parsons Problems and develop a few Parsons Problems during the workshop session.

Electronic Notebooks For Success in Computer Science

Randy Mills and Julie Wood

Track: PLTW Computer Science

The pandemic has made teachers look for new ways to connect with kids and electronic notebooks and portfolios have been one way to keep the connection alive. This session focuses on best practices for creating electronic notebooks, including ways to make electronic notebooks more accessible for all students and ways that students can keep their notebooks to serve as the building blocks for a broader portfolio. Participants are encouraged to bring examples and/or a curriculum to use as we explore different techniques for different LMS systems, as well as different approaches to creating the notebooks.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the different ways of creating and presenting electronic notebooks to their students.
  • Create a notebook that addresses different modalities and accommodations.
  • Create a sample from your own curriculum as a model.

Vex Driver's Ed!

Andrew Woods

Track: PLTW Computer Science

Learn how to supplement the Computer Science Essentials self-driving cehicle using VEX's Virtual Robot. Develop an understanding of the coding concepts being taught with the self-driving vehicle and how to model those with your students with a "We Do"/"You Do” cumulating unit. See how VEX VR can be used in a 100 percent virtual environment or in the classroom to supplement PLTW's self-driving vehicle work in Unit 2.1.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Know how the VEX Virtual Robot can enhance the Computer Science Essentials curriculum.
  • Understand how students develop a deeper understanding of coding principles and robotic coding.
  • Learn how to use Google Slides to deliver content.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Building Robust PreK-12 PLTW Pathways and Scaling Across a Metropolitan STEM Ecosystem

Martha McCabe

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

This session will share detailed strategies and tactics used to scale and support PLTW growth across a metropolitan STEM ecosystem since 2006. Through the support of the Kauffman Foundation and the KC STEM Alliance, a majority of the Kansas City school districts have implemented PreK-12 PLTW pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science to over 90,000 students. This robust implementation model is growing next generation STEM talent critical to support a robust STEM job market in a large metropolitan city.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Learn strategies and tactics successfully used to expand student access to STEM education and the importance of inclusion for all students. Gain knowledge about the power of aligned course content and skill scaffolding, and the power of connecting students to possible career opportunities.
  • Understand the power of building PreK-12 STEM talent and how it can be scaled across multiple schools and districts. Learn how increased collaboration with business and industry leaders and community partners can help create robust STEM communities of practice.
  • Receive the findings from a recent Missouri High School Research Study with key findings related to PLTW students and their success.

Build Thriving PLTW Programs Through Connected Communities

Glade Montgomery, Pat Barnes, Dr. George Zion, Dave Butler, and Michelle Robinson

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

If you’re looking to build or expand your PLTW community presence, this is the session for you! Learn about shared best practices between industry, higher education, and K-12. Hear from community experts familiar with building effective collaboration pipelines and get answers to your “how-to” questions.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Know how community connections can increase the health and sustainability of your PLTW program. Connected communities are vital to the health of PLTW programs.
  • Learn how to develop and nurture school – higher ed – industry collaborations that lead to deeper career learning connections and opportunities for students and teachers.
  • Develop strategies and outline next steps to take back to their communities.

Start here for Sustainable Partnerships

Jasen Ritter

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

If you’re new to PLTW or a seasoned veteran looking to optimize community partnerships, this is the workshop for you. From identifying community resources to building opportunities for students, this session will look at building a community partnership team from the ground up. Hear how teachers working with robust partnership teams got started and take away resources to maximize the impact of your PLTW program for the school, students, and community.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Know how to start a partnership team for sustainable community relationships.
  • Develop strategies and resources to support their own community partnership teams and build multidimensional opportunities with community stakeholders.
  • Expand overall understanding of PLTW programs as a central resource for community connections and opportunities.

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.

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.