Skip to main content
9 min read

PLTW Summit 2022 PLTW Gateway Track Virtual Workshop Sessions

PLTW Summit 2022 PLTW Gateway 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 Gateway track, and head over to to add sessions to your PLTW Summit agenda!

Using a Request for Proposal Process for a Final Project

Mat Bartley

Track: PLTW Gateway

Ever have projects you don't have time to do with your students? Find out how the Request for Proposal (RFP) process can be used to give students choice and cover those unassigned projects in a way that mirrors a real life situation. We'll go over a brief background of how RFP is used to solicit bids from contractors, and how to use that for students to choose their a project and create balanced groups. We'll also talk about how to involve parents and the community with these projects.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Attendees will learn more about the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, and adapt that knowledge to the classroom setting.
  • Attendees will have options to offer choice in their Gateway classes using real-world connections.
  • Attendees will have a method for addressing parts of their curriculum that previously had to be sacrificed due to time constraints.

Student Ideas' Matter! Linking Formative Assessment to Instructional Sequence

Patrick Brown

Tracks: PLTW Launch, PLTW Gateway, and PreK-12 Leadership

Students' Ideas Matter is a lively workshop that will inspire you to reimagine how you teach science and STEM. The session discusses how simple shifts in the way you arrange and combine activities and how you have students communicate their developing understanding will help young students construct firsthand knowledge. Constructing knowledge and sensemaking is precisely what is called for by modern standards and necessary to increasing STEAM and science literacy. This session gives both the rationale and the real-life examples to restructure the hands-on approaches you are now using to promote long-lasting understanding.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Develop an understanding of cognitive science and science education research that explains why the order in which you structure your lessons is so critical for developing conceptual understanding and transfer learning.
  • Develop knowledge of the essential planning considerations for becoming an “explore-before-explain” teacher and how to leverage the assets that all students bring to STEM to promote critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • Engage in examples that show how specific aspects of all three dimensions of contemporary science and STEM are beneficial for learners.

Encouraging Girls to Explore PLTW Courses

Amy Baldwin

Track: PLTW Gateway

Many girls, especially middle schoolers, think STEM is for boys because of limited exposure to STEM courses. Often PLTW courses have a limited number of girls. These areas of need brought about the planning to find ways to actively encourage girls to explore PLTW courses. During this session, you will learn about strategies used to promote girls in STEM and the immediate results of these strategies. You will experience a mini-girl power event while learning techniques to host your own events. Early exposure especially for girls is key to helping diversify the workplace and promoting females in STEM helps with exposure.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Experience a girl power mini event and take away at least three ideas on how to create and host their own event.
  • Gather a plethora of free resources you can use to build your own girl powered event.
  • Collect and analyze event data to determine how class outcomes are impacted.

PLTW Equals Growth Mindset

Christina Campos and Chanta Gidrey

Project Lead the Way equips our students with the opportunity and hope for a brighter future that they never thought was possible. Many of our students are raised by single parents, grandparents, or are in foster care. Hear more about how this program has allowed our school to offer our students high school credit to give them the hope to graduate high school and to change some of students' fixed mindset to a flourishing growth mindset.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Hear about how to bridge the gaps between the PLTW programs into the socioeconomically disadvantaged districts and challenge our students to build their confidence and ability into a new level of learning, thinking and believing in themselves.
  • Learn more about how to change the culture. Change the Culture: A fixed mindset is embedded into the culture of many of our students growing up in these conditions; we work to build a growth mindset. Building the growth mindset set for a brighter future leads our students into a college, vocational, or a trade school and have a career mindset.
  • Understand was to enhance the communication between our students and the mentors of the community. We work extremely hard to change the mindset and build the confidence level of our students. Bringing in our mentors would allow our students the ability to explore careers.

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.

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.

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.

Constructing Their Future

Eryca Card, Steve Fisher, Julia Ingersoll, and Greg Ingersoll

Tracks: PLTW Gateway and PreK-12 Leadership

This workshop focuses on the importance of using community partnerships to construct the future of our PLTW students. Elkhorn Area Middle School, in partnership with Wausau Homes, Adams Electric, and the Elkhorn Kiwanis Club, discuss the partnership that was born out of Green Architecture and Energy and the Environment in PLTW Gateway, used to build a 12'x20' green outdoor education space at our school, food pantries, and a playhouse. This workshop discusses the journey that they embarked on for the past three years in partnering 6th grade students with local businesses and service organizations.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Understand the importance of creating business and community partnerships to enhance your PLTW programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
  • Create a plan to take back to implement within your communities.
  • Devise ways to come up with funding that will help enhance your PLTW program.

PLTW Goes to Summer Camp (and After School)!

Rebecca Deotte

Tracks: PLTW Launch and PLTW Gateway

In the summer of 2021, Middletown Public Schools was looking for dynamic programming to promote STEM and learning acceleration after remote and hybrid learning. The district’s federally funded after school programs and camps implemented PLTW in their STEAM Camps over the summer and in their five after-school programs during the school year. In this workshop session, the Innovation Coach from Middletown will discuss the ways to adapt and implement PLTW outside of the school day, present different models, and review factors that should be considered when planning for flexible implementation of PLTW programs.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Gain an understanding of how PLTW can be used in after school and summer programming.
  • Review different PLTW flexible implementation models for after-school and summer programming.
  • Understand factors to consider when planning flexible implementation of PLTW models for after-school and summer programming, including funding, staffing, pacing, etc.

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.

PLTW Gateway Energize

Andy Sarbacker

Track: PLTW Gateway

The PLTW Gateway experience engages students and inspires career confidence in the middle grades. In this workshop, participants explore an overview of the most recent enhancements and updates found within PLTW Gateway. Prepare to expand possibilities within your programs as you continue to spark those ‘aha!’ moments in your classrooms!

Participants completing the session will:

  • Identify recent updates and enhancements found within PLTW Gateway and understand how to find these and other support resources in the student curriculum and teacher guides.
  • Begin identifying ways to maximize the use of recent updates and enhancements within PLTW Gateway.
  • Identify how PLTW Gateway offerings can support your students/teachers, your STEM vision, and your broader community.

Keeping the User in Mind: Solving Problems in PLTW Launch and PLTW Gateway

Jennifer Kruse, Kristen Champion-Terrell, Ginger Teague, Rachel Allard, Steve Pellathy, and Mary Ibe

Tracks: PLTW Launch and PLTW Gateway

How can striving to understand the user experience help students become empathetic, human-centered problem solvers? Join us as we explore strategies that empower students to consider the user experience throughout the design process. Walk away with UX implementation ideas for problems in PLTW Launch and PLTW Gateway.

Participants completing the session will:

  • Explore strategies that empower students to consider the user experience.
  • Investigate how students can consider user experience throughout the design process.
  • Discuss UX implementation ideas for problems in PLTW Launch and PLTW Gateway.

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.

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.