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 account and user management; student rostering; Courses, our curriculum delivery tool; and more.

Courses, Project Lead The Way’s curriculum delivery tool within myPLTW, delivers PLTW curriculum in an engaging way that enables teachers to make the content come to life for their students.

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 address 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. Schools/districts can implement 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.

Formative and summative assessment opportunities are embedded within all PreK-5 modules. Formative assessments include guidance for using discussions to uncover student learning and conclusion questions at the end of each activity, project, and problem. Summative assessment includes assessing student demonstrations of learning through their work on the problem and through Checks for Understanding in K-5 modules

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

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 curriculum through Courses - the Project Lead The Way curriculum delivery tool; Community – a tool that allows teachers to connect with one another, share ideas, and learn from their peers; assessments; unlimited required software licenses; teacher resources and learning opportunities; student recognition 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. 

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. Computer Science Essentials (CSE) 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 specifications 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; 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.

Core Training participants will access Courses, PLTW's curriculum delivery tool within myPLTW, on Day 1 of training. To access to Courses log in to myPLTW and click the Courses icon located on the homepage app menu. Teachers will have access to both the teacher and student versions of any course in which they are credentialed.

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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We're always here to help! PLTW provides districts and schools with unparalleled support, as well as comprehensive classroom resources that help teachers focus their time and attention on what they do best: engaging and inspiring students. 

PLTW’s recognition program is designed to honor districts and schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. We’re excited and privileged to recognize districts and schools that are empowering students to thrive in an evolving world and achieving exemplary results from their PLTW programs. Learn more about PLTW Program Recognition here.

There is a district and a school level recognition: PLTW Distinguished District and PLTW Distinguished School, respectively. Both are one-year designations.  Schools may earn the school-level designation for programs based on grade bands: PLTW Launch (K-5), PLTW Gateway (6-8), and high school (9-12).

PLTW recognizes districts and schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.

In order to receive the PLTW Distinguished District or School designation, districts and schools will need to complete a form to validate their eligibility.

PLTW will communicate current submission dates with districts and schools well in advance of any deadlines.

Following are the benefits of becoming a PLTW Distinguished District:

·       Acknowledgement on the PLTW website as part of the PLTW Distinguished District listing

·       Special PLTW Distinguished District designation brand logo to use on the district website and in print materials

·       Sample press release for local promotion and media opportunities

·       Sample social media posts for digital channel promotion

·       Consideration for inclusion in PLTW communications

·       Additional benefits may be added and communicated when we issue the recognition 

Following are the benefits of becoming a PLTW Distinguished School:

·       Acknowledgement on the PLTW website as part of the PLTW Distinguished School listing

·       Special PLTW Distinguished School designation brand logo to use on the school website and in print materials

·       Sample press release for local promotion and media opportunities

·       Sample social media posts for digital channel promotion

·       Consideration for inclusion in PLTW communications

·       Additional benefits may be added and communicated when we issue the recognition

Schools can earn the PLTW Distinguished School recognition for any PLTW program, and eligibility criteria are based on program grade band. Learn more about school eligibility requirements here.

The PLTW Distinguished District recognition is a one-year designation that emphasizes K-12 student engagement. To receive the designation, your district must have had 20 percent or more of the students in each grade, K-12, participating in a PLTW program during the school year prior to the designation.

PLTW recognizes districts and schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.

In order to receive the PLTW Distinguished District or School designation, districts and schools will need to complete a form to validate their eligibility. PLTW will communicate current process and submission dates with districts and schools well in advance of any deadlines.

We recommend the submitter be someone who has access to school and student information and has familiarity with their school’s PLTW program implementation. This includes PLTW Program Coordinators, PLTW Site Coordinators, and PLTW Teachers, as well as leaders at the district or school level. 

Districts and schools will submit prior school year data to qualify for the current school year designation. For example, to receive the 2018-19 designation, your district or school must submit data supporting the eligibility requirements and demonstrating what has been done during the 2017-18 school year.

Yes. We measure schools only against the grade offerings available to students at the school or district. For example, an Academy offering grades 7 and 8 may still be eligible for PLTW Gateway (6-8) recognition even though grade 6 is not offered should they still meet the eligibility criteria in grades 7 and 8.  

While we understand there are a variety of models for how schools and districts offer PLTW programs, the school eligibility will only be measured against the intended audience of the program (PLTW Launch K-5, PLTW Gateway 6-8, PLTW high school (9-12). 

PLTW will communicate current submission dates with districts and schools well in advance of any deadlines.

Please contact the PLTW Solution Center at 877.335.7589 or [email protected].

PLTW will communicate recipient announcement dates with districts and schools once the submission period gets closer.  For the PLTW Program Recognition 2017-18, we accepted submissions from Nov. 10-Dec. 22, 2017, and announced recipients in February 2018. 

The PLTW Distinguished District and PLTW Distinguished School recognitions are a one-year designation. Districts and schools have the opportunity to be considered for the recognition every year.

Yes! One of the benefits of becoming a PLTW Distinguished District or School is that PLTW will provide a sample press release and social media posts for local communications and promotion. 

No, there is no fee associated with submitting the form or earning the PLTW Distinguished District and Schools designations. 

No, at this time program certifications under the PLTW Program Certification are no longer available.  

PLTW announced a new program recognition process in August 2016, and schools are no longer required to complete the PLTW Program Certification. All existing certified programs may submit the program recognition form in order to be considered for the PLTW Program Recognition

Existing certified programs may continue to display their certification status through the effective date. We encourage districts and schools to complete the PLTW Program Recognition process to take advantage of the exciting benefits of becoming a PLTW Distinguished District or School.   

The new EoC Assessment, available for the 2018-19 school year, is a first-of-its-kind summative assessment that measures both subject-matter knowledge and mastery of in-demand, transportable skills in an objective, standardized way that adheres to industry standards and best practices. In addition to course-specific subject-matter knowledge, the new EoC Assessment measures: 

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Collaboration
  • Communication 
  • Ethical reasoning and mindset

The EoC Assessment is available for PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, and PLTW Biomedical Science high school courses.[1]  

 [1] This excludes capstone courses, which provide portfolio-based opportunities for assessments. 

Experts on secondary education have expressed for years that the current narrow practice of only testing subject-matter knowledge has not captured many of the important aspects of students’ educational gains, nor has it given students, parents, or teachers information that has currency beyond a single moment or use. 

For higher education institutions, these tests do not measure the types of skills that truly differentiate students among the pool of applicants who vie for admission each year. Additionally, they have failed to measure the in-demand skills that students need (and employers seek) as workplaces evolve. Employers say it has become increasingly difficult to find graduates who possess the skills necessary – including the ability to solve problems, think critically and creatively, collaborate, communicate, and demonstrate ethical reasoning – to be productive and successful employees.

While PLTW students have been developing these skills for years, their strengths have largely gone unmeasured. In recognizing the value of these skills as the real currency in the modern job market, PLTW developed the new EoC Assessment to measure what matters most to educators and employers, while creating value and currency for students beyond high school.   

The new EoC Assessment will be available for the 2018-19 school year. 

PLTW formed a coalition of secondary educators, higher education representatives, and industry experts to identify the course-specific knowledge and in-demand, transportable skills that should be measured by the new EoC Assessment. 

With insights from the coalition, PLTW created a design plan for the new assessment, identifying which knowledge and skills would have value across education and industry sectors, and create student currency in the classroom, college, and beyond. In addition to course-specific subject-matter knowledge, the new EoC Assessment measures: 

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Collaboration
  • Communication 
  • Ethical reasoning and mindset

Innovative items provide the foundation for measuring students’ transportable skills. Through the use of simulations, video stimuli, situational judgment items, and more, the new EoC Assessment measures a broader range of knowledge, skills, and cognitive abilities that have traditionally been difficult to measure through a standardized, objective assessment. 

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, students who take the EoC Assessment will receive a detailed score report that highlights their subject-matter knowledge and mastery of in-demand, transportable skills. Students can use their test results to bolster college applications or resumes or can send their score report directly to higher education institutions and employers, who may use it for admissions, scholarships, dual credit opportunities, campus experiences, internships, apprenticeships, industry certifications, and more.  

It was designed following the principles of high-quality testing set forth in established industry standards and best practices, including:

  • “Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing” (American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education, 2014);
  • The “CCSSO Criteria for Acquiring and Developing High-Quality Assessments” (2016); and
  • The “Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement” (NCME, 2016).

The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) is a nonprofit association dedicated to quality continuing education and training programs. IACET accredits education providers that meet strict continuing education guidelines originally created in 1968 and recently updated by the IACET Council for Standards Development. IACET accreditation is the standard learners seek for quality when they choose a provider. IACET's standard is the core of thousands of educational programs worldwide.

The IACET Accredited Provider status means that an organization adheres to IACET's internationally recognized ANSI/IACET Standard for Continuing Education and Training. Only Accredited Providers, who have approval from the IACET Commission, can award IACET CEUs.

In order to achieve Accredited Provider status, PLTW completed a rigorous application process, including a review by an IACET site visitor, and successfully demonstrated adherence to the 10 categories of the ANSI/IACET 1-2013 Standard addressing the design, development, administration, and evaluation of our programs. As a result, IACET awarded PLTW the Accredited Provider status in May 2017.

With IACET Accredited Provider status, PLTW joins over 600 organizations around the world to have our programs vetted by third-party experts in continuing education and training to ensure that we meet the highest possible standards.

Creation of the Continuing Education Unit, or CEU, occurred in 1970 after IACET and the U.S. Department of Education task force studied the measurement of non-credit continuing education activities. The CEU was designed to:

  • Provide a standard unit of measurement for continuing education and training;
  • Quantify continuing education and training activities; and 
  • Accommodate for the diversity of providers, activities, and purposes in adult education.

The primary purpose of the CEU is to provide a permanent record of the educational accomplishments of an individual who has completed one or more significant non-credit educational experiences.

While the term "CEU" is used widely by education-related organizations, not all organizations have an equal commitment to quality in awarding CEUs. The IACET CEU ensures that a standard of learning is in place. It demonstrates that a program pays attention to elements like developing clear learning outcomes, assessing learner needs, and conducting thorough evaluation to ensure continuous improvement. The IACET Commission only allows approved Accredited Providers to award IACET CEUs.

As an IACET Accredited Provider, PLTW Professional Development adheres to the ANSI/IACET Standard for Continuing Education and Training. Our continuing education and training program's policies and processes meet all 10 elements of the ANSI/IACET Standard. The IACET CEU assures educational leaders, credentialing associations, licensing bodies, and others, that educators complete a quality training program which meets the national standard for continuing education and training.