White House Recognizes PLTW for Commitment to Expanding Access to Early STEM Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 21, 2016) The White House, on Thursday, announced a major commitment, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US, to promote and expand science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning for America’s youngest children.

“We know that students who get quality early learning experiences do better in elementary school and on into their education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John King. “We know that a strong vocabulary in science is essential … and that there is an achievement gap with our low-income students. Together we must make sure that all students, regardless of the color of their skin or ZIP code they live in, have equal access to quality STEM learning.”

King also stressed the importance of professional development for teachers, citing the Administration’s commitment of 100,000 new STEM teachers in the next 10 years.

Recognizing commitments to improve quality early STEM education, the administration highlighted Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) work in providing increased access and engagement for our country’s youngest students through PLTW Launch.

Since 2014, PLTW has partnered with elementary schools and teachers across the United States to introduce students in grades K-5 to integrated, hands-on learning in the areas of computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW Launch immerses students in hands-on activities, projects, and problems that relate to the world around them. Through projects like designing a car safety belt or building digital animations based on their own short stories, students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and learn to try again when faced with challenges. PLTW Launch captures students’ imaginations, encourages cross-disciplinary learning, and adds relevance to the classroom. As with all PLTW programs, PLTW Launch includes engaging and rigorous professional development for teachers, helping them infuse a new way of teaching into the classroom and equipping them with the tools they need to devote more time to inspiring students.

PLTW will partner with an additional 450+ elementary schools for the 2016-17 school year, growing PLTW Launch to more than 1,700 elementary schools across the United States. Since 2014, PLTW Launch has fostered the natural curiosity and imagination of students in grades K-5, while helping them develop a strong foundation and interest in the STEM subjects. Since 2014, PLTW has trained more than 11,250 elementary school teachers to lead engaging, relevant STEM curriculum.

Read the full Early STEM Learning release from the White House, here.

To learn more about partnering with PLTW to bring engaging early STEM learning to your students, visit PLTW.org.