Frequently Asked Questions

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Our curriculum is developed by a talented team of professionals with extensive education and experience in the classroom and industry. Our team develops a cohesive instructional path for students that is informed by their personal classroom experiences as educators, current research, and ongoing collaboration with experts in academia and industry. This powerful combination allows us to create a comprehensive learning experience unlike any other that provides students with leading-edge knowledge and expertise, as well as transportable skills they can apply no matter how the career landscape evolves. Learn More

A PLTW program is a series of modules, units, or courses available for elementary, middle, and high schools, respectively. Our comprehensive programs also include in-depth professional development for teachers, live classroom support, and more. PLTW offers five programs: PLTW Launch, designed for grades K-5; PLTW Gateway, designed for grades 6-8; and PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, and PLTW Biomedical Science, each designed for grades 9-12. Learn More

Our interactive tool walks you through key financial outlays, which include teacher training, equipment and supplies, and the Participation Fee. Please note that implementing a PLTW program also takes buy-in and an investment of time. When individuals within the school, district, and community are actively involved, PLTW programs are more successful. Learn More

College-level recognition is available to students through a number of postsecondary institutions across the U.S. Check with individual colleges and universities for information on recognition opportunities they offer to PLTW students.

myPLTW is the access point for the Learning Management System (LMS), management of student rostering, and access to End-of-Course (EoC) assessments.

"LMS" stands for Learning Management System. The LMS is an online platform that delivers PLTW curriculum and professional development, and facilitates interaction between teachers and students. PLTW curriculum and professional development are only available through the LMS, which teachers and students access through myPLTW. Teachers have course access for each PLTW course in which they have attained professional development credit. Students must be rostered so their teachers can enroll them for LMS access.

All requests for revisions to the PLTW Terms and Conditions must be made in writing and emailed to the PLTW Solution Center. If the PLTW legal counsel approves the requests, you will receive a revised document.

The Terms and Conditions can be scanned and emailed to PLTW Solution Center. If you need to mail your document, please send to the attention of "PLTW Terms and Conditions."

Each module is designed to be delivered in 10 hours of classroom instruction. We include recommendations for the length of time needed for lessons within each module, as well, but we encourage teachers to allocate instructional time in a way that best meets the needs of students.

All PLTW pathways align to Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts and Next Generation Science Standards. For complete details, download our standards alignment.

There is no requirement or prerequisite for PLTW Launch modules. Modules are aligned to grade-level standards in the Next Generation Science Standards as well as Common Core State Standards in Math and English, but students may take modules without having experienced previous modules.

We recommend teaching the first module in a paired set before teaching the second. The modules were written in pairs to provide students with the opportunity to engage in more in-depth explorations of concepts in the second module.

PLTW Launch is designed for flexible implementation, allowing districts and schools to teach any of the modules at the grade level that best meets the needs of their students.

Both formative and summative assessments are embedded in the program. Assessments for learning and of learning play a critical role by providing meaningful feedback to students, teachers, and administrators.

We recommend reviewing the PLTW Implementation Guide to learn more about implementation options for PLTW Launch.

After registration, your school will select one or more individuals to become PLTW Launch Lead Teachers. After completing online Readiness Training, the Lead Teacher(s) will engage in a hands-on, comprehensive two-and-a-half day training that introduces them to the activity-, project-, problem- based (APB) pedagogy that is the cornerstone of all Project Lead The Way programs. Pedagogy is delivered through exposure to a set of hands-on activities from the PLTW Launch modules. The Lead Teacher then has responsibility to train other teachers in the building, aid in inventory management, and play the role of coach and guide. Grade-level teachers in the building become certified to teach PLTW Launch modules through completion of on-demand Readiness Training; an in-building, in-person Core Training delivered by their Lead Teacher; and completion of module-specific on-demand Core Training.

PLTW continuously works with philanthropic partners to support the growth of PLTW programs. Submit our rolling grant application today to be considered for upcoming grant opportunities. 

The PLTW Investment Tool walks you through key financial outlays including teacher training, equipment and supplies, and the Participation Fee. Please note that implementing PLTW Launch also takes buy-in and an investment of time. When individuals within the school, district, and community are actively involved, PLTW programs are more successful.

Tablets are recommended at a maximum of four students per tablet. Schools will need to assess their current and future needs to determine the right ratio and tablet choice for their students.

We recommend ordering the PLTW VEX IQ Construction kits and PLTW VEX IQ Robot Design kits in the student-to-kit range of 2:1 to 4:1.

The Participation Fee includes access to all the program features for which a school has a trained teacher, including, but not limited to, access to the myPLTW Learning Management System (LMS) and professional learning communities; assessments; unlimited required software licenses; required online, on-demand readiness and ongoing teacher professional development; student opportunities; reporting tools; and the PLTW Solution Center.

The Participation Fee does not cover teacher Core Training costs and related expenses, equipment and supplies, including annual consumables, unlimited print materials, and any outside services such as fees for industry certification.

The Participation Fee is assessed annually: $3,000 for PLTW Engineering, $2,000 for PLTW Biomedical Science and PLTW Computer Science, and $750 for PLTW Gateway and PLTW Launch. High schools can offer all three high school programs for a total Participation Fee of $5,000. Nonprofit post-secondary institutions offering PLTW to either secondary or post-secondary students will pay the same Participation Fee as secondary schools. 

Schools will receive access to required software for courses they are offering and for which they have a trained teacher.

All school sites are invoiced in spring of the current school year with payments due by Aug. 31 of the upcoming school year.

Yes. The Participation Fee covers all modules, units, or courses in a program from July 1 to June 30.

The Participation Fee is assessed for each school site (based on NCES code) and will be invoiced to the entity that signed the PLTW Terms and Conditions. If there are several schools or sites from a district that offer PLTW Programs, the entity that signed the PLTW Terms and Conditions can request to receive one consolidated invoice. 

PLTW State Conferences engage school counselors, post-secondary advisors, principals, teachers, and school administrators in programming around PLTW programs and student recruitment. PLTW schools are required to send a minimum of one advisor/counselor annually. We recommend that schools send all of their advisors/counselors to at least one conference during their tenure with the school. These events are open to anyone interested in learning more about PLTW – both those who are already part of the PLTW network as well as individuals from schools considering offering a PLTW program.

A Virtual Design Challenge discussion has been created in the discussion section of the Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) Professional Learning Community, hosted on the PLTW LMS. Once you log into the LMS and choose the IED – PLC (listed under courses), click “Discussions” on the left side of the screen.  The Virtual Design Challenge discussion is on the following page.

Introduction to Computer Science (ICS), Computer Science Principles (CSP), and Computer Science Applications (CSA) are now available. Cybersecurity will be available for the 2018-19 school year. Learn More

Existing PLTW Engineering programs that wish to add CSP should have their teacher(s) register for CSP Core Training. For questions, please contact the PLTW Solution Center. For new PLTW Computer Science programs: After registration, your school will select one or more individuals to become PLTW Computer Science teachers. After completing Readiness Training, your teacher will engage in an in-depth two-week training that introduces them to the activity-, project -, problem- based (APB) pedagogy that is a cornerstone of all PLTW programs.

Computer Science Principles (CSP) is aligned to the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) 3B standards and is endorsed by the College Board®. Computer Science A (CSA) aligns to align to CSTA 3C standards, and the syllabus is approved by the College Board. Introduction to Computer Science (ICS) aligns to CSTA 3A standards. For complete details, download our standards alignment

In CSP, students will use computers (PC or Mac), as well as Android™ tablets. Computer and tablet specificiations can be found here

Your school or district likely has a firewall blocking certain external emails, such as "[email protected]" emails. Please work with your school or district IT team using this troubleshooting guide to solve the issue. Learn More

We suggest registering for our Core Training offerings delivered online if you are unable to attend a training in person. In addition, we provide interim instructional support and coaching through the Professional Development Plan (PDP). All PDP participants will incur an instructional support fee ($843 for PLTW Gateway courses / $1,265 for PLTW Biomedical Science and PLTW Engineering courses); attend 60-minute live online instructional meetings every other week; participate in weekly discussion assignments on the PLTW Learning Management System (LMS); and attend Core Training prior to the start of the next academic year. Please note that PDPs are not available for PLTW Launch. Contact us for more information.

Participants who successfully complete a Core Training course will receive access to their curriculum course, Student View course, course-specific Professional Learning Community (PLC), and Ongoing Training course within one week of the last day of Core Training. If it has been longer than one week since the last day of your Core Training session and you do not have appropriate access, please contact us.

PLTW teachers have a variety of backgrounds and experiences and share a few critical characteristics: They are excited to transform their classrooms, eager to learn and employ project-based learning, and passionate about preparing students with the skills to succeed in post-secondary education and beyond. 

There are four roles in myPLTW: Program Coordinator, Site Coordinator, Teacher, and General User. Each role has different access within myPLTW. Below is an overview of each role: Program Coordinator – This role is responsible for overall account, site, and classroom management and serves as the primary point of contact for the account. This role is authorized to add/remove sites and programs, select Site Coordinators, manage users, and complete annual renewal forms and participation surveys. Each account is required to have two Program Coordinators. Site Coordinator – This role is responsible for day-to-day implementation and management of PLTW programs at a specific site. Each site is required to have at least one Site Coordinator and may have up to two. Teacher – This role is responsible for classroom management including managing student users, accessing and publishing course curriculum, administering End-of-Course (EoC) assessments, and accessing EoC results. General User – This user supports PLTW program operations such as IT staff, purchasing agents, grant managers, etc.

By the year 2020, almost two-thirds of jobs, and nearly all high-paying jobs, will require postsecondary education or training. And by 2018, 92 percent of traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs will be for those with at least some postsecondary education and training. Increasingly, career readiness is dependent on college success. To ensure all students are ready to compete in the global workforce, we need to expand access to challenging coursework and ensure students are prepared to thrive in college and beyond.

To address this challenge, we partnered with the College Board to encourage student participation in STEM courses and build their interest in STEM degrees and careers. The AP + PLTW program leverages the success of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) and PLTW’s applied-learning programs to provide students with the challenging coursework they need to be prepared for both college and career. Learn More

High school students can pursue college and career pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Learn More

AP courses and PLTW programs in each pathway are available now. To design pathways, schools can connect their existing AP and PLTW courses or add AP or PLTW courses, or both. Learn more about adding AP courses or PLTW programs. 

Local flexibility is a cornerstone of the AP + PLTW program. The best pathway(s) for your school will depend on the needs of your students and community, the programs and courses your school currently offers, and the goals you want to achieve. The College Board and Project Lead The Way also plan to share case studies highlighting how schools have chosen to implement AP + PLTW. Learn More

The AP + PLTW program is intended to prepare all students for college and career. All students are encouraged to participate. Learn More

There are no prerequisite courses for the program. Individual courses may have prerequisites or recommended preparation. Learn more about AP courses or PLTW courses. 

If your school already offers AP and PLTW courses in the relevant pathways, there are no incremental costs to implement the AP + PLTW program. Learn more about estimated costs for adding new AP courses. Contact PLTW for more information on the costs associated with implementing PLTW.

If your school is already offering the AP and PLTW courses in each pathway, then you will not need to hire additional staff. However, you may want to consider whether your existing course offerings are sufficient to serve all students who may benefit from participating in the AP + PLTW program. If your school is not currently offering AP or PLTW courses, then additional planning will be needed to implement these courses in your school. Learn more about offering AP courses or PLTW courses. 

AP courses and PLTW programs in each of these pathways are available now, and student recognitions will be awarded to students each summer. Learn More

To earn the recognition, a student must satisfactorily complete three courses in the pathway – one AP course; one PLTW course; and a third course, either AP or PLTW – and earn a qualifying score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam(s) and a score of Proficient or higher on the PLTW End-of-Course (EoC) assessment(s). Students may earn recognition for multiple pathways. For example, to earn recognition in two pathways, the student will need to satisfactorily complete two different AP courses, two different PLTW courses, and two other unique courses (either AP or PLTW) and earn the qualifying scores on the AP Exam(s) and the PLTW EoC assessment(s). Learn More

Student recognitions will be awarded each summer after the successful completion of relevant AP Exams and PLTW End-of-Course (EoC) assessments. Learn More

The College Board and PLTW have introduced the AP + PLTW program to higher education institutions and will continue to share information about this student recognition with them. Each institution will have sole discretion to determine how best to treat this student recognition in light of their priorities and institutional needs. Learn More

PLTW and the College Board are in the process of establishing career-focused opportunities such as internships, scholarships, and interviews. More information will be available soon.

PLTW provides activity-, project-, problem-based curricula and teacher professional development. After adopting a PLTW program, teachers are trained in PLTW courses and receive access to course curricula. PLTW programs offer schools flexibility in implementation, as well as high levels of support. Learn More

The College Board does not develop or provide schools with fixed AP course curricula. Committees of college, university, and secondary school faculty create curriculum frameworks for AP courses that outline what students should know and be able to do at the end of the course to prepare them for the AP Exam to qualify for college credit. Using these AP frameworks, teachers and schools develop their own local curriculum and instructional materials in order to teach the course. In order for a course to be designated as an “AP” course on students’ transcripts, the teacher and principal must demonstrate that the course meets college-level curricular and resource requirements specified for the AP subject through the submission and approval of a course syllabus via the AP Course Audit. Learn More

The AP + PLTW teams are happy to answer any additional questions you have. Please contact PLTW or the College Board to learn more.

There are no fees for students to participate in PLTW programs, and PLTW End-of-Course (EoC) assessments are covered by the school Participation Fee. Students who take the AP Exam for any AP course will need to pay an exam fee; however, there are numerous programs available to help students with financial need, including fee reductions offered by the College Board as well as state and federal funding programs. Learn More

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