Inspiring, Engaging, and Empowering K-12 Students and Teachers

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Our K-12 Pathways: Cohesive, Hands-On Learning Experiences

We believe all students – beginning at a young age – need access to real-world, applied learning experiences that empower them to gain the skills they need to thrive in college, career, and beyond. That’s why our pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science provide hands-on learning opportunities from the first day of kindergarten through senior year. PLTW’s research-supported approach empowers students to discover and explore interests, imagine and design solutions to real-world challenges, and become independent, confident problem solvers.

Our Elementary (K-5) Program

Our Elementary (K-5) Program

PLTW Launch taps into students’ exploratory nature, engages them in learning that feels like play, and encourages them to keep discovering – now and for years to come. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations, students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and learn to try and try again when faced with challenges.

Our Middle School (6-8) Program

Our Middle School (6-8) Program

PLTW Gateway sparks a joy of discovery and illuminates the range of paths students can look forward to in high school and beyond. Students apply knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines. By tackling challenges like designing a therapeutic toy for a child with cerebral palsy, creating their own app, or solving a medical mystery, students are empowered to make a real-world impact.

Our High School (9-12) Programs

Our High School (9-12) Programs

PLTW Computer Science engages students in true-to-life activities like creating an online art portal or developing problem-solving apps.

PLTW Engineering immerses students in activities like designing a home, programming electronic devices, or exploring algae as a biofuel source.

PLTW Biomedical Science students step into the roles of medical investigators, surgeons, and biomedical engineers.

Our K-12 Computer Science Pathway

Our K-12 Computer Science Pathway

As PLTW students progress through the K-12 computer science pathway, they gain mastery and independence by engaging in activities, projects, and problems that relate to and build upon one another. For example, K-5 students start their learning journey with activities like building digital animations. In middle school, they are challenged to reach the next level of learning by designing mobile apps. At the high school level, PLTW Computer Science students continue to push their limits by using what they’ve learned about automation to process and analyze DNA-sequence data. 

Our K-12 computer science pathway consists of PLTW Launch modules, PLTW Gateway units, and PLTW Computer Science courses. 

Our K-12 Engineering Pathway

Our K-12 Engineering Pathway

PLTW’s K-12 engineering pathway empowers students to become confident, independent learners through scaffolded, hands-on activities, projects, and problems. K-5 students embark on their pathway experience with activities like planning a rescue mission for a trapped zoo animal. In grades 6-8, they take on increasingly complex challenges like designing a home from a reclaimed shipping container. In grades 9-12, PLTW Engineering students progress on their learning journey with activities like exploring algae as a biofuel source. 

Our K-12 engineering pathway consists of PLTW Launch modules, PLTW Gateway units, and PLTW Engineering courses. 

Our K-12 Biomedical Science Pathway

Our K-12 Biomedical Science Pathway

Our K-12 biomedical science pathway empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable skills through challenges that build upon one another and support student-led learning. Pathway students in grades K-5 delve into their biomedical science exploration with activities like proposing methods to prevent the spread of illness. At the middle school level, they deepen their understanding through projects like measuring and interpreting vital signs. In grades 9-12, PLTW Biomedical Science students are challenged by digging into problems like investigating the death of a fictional person. 

Our K-12 biomedical science pathway consists of PLTW Launch modules, PLTW Gateway units, and PLTW Biomedical Science courses.

Our programs inspire students to question what's possible and prepare them for long-term success.

PLTW students engage in hands-on activities, projects, and problems that are reflective of real-world challenges. This compelling, real-world approach empowers students to learn essential, in-demand skills validated by the world’s leading companies, while also providing an invaluable connection between what students are learning in the classroom today and how it applies to the paths they’ll take in the future.

It's almost impossible to put it into words how much Project Lead The Way has contributed to who I am and who I want to be. ... I think that Project Lead The Way was made by dreamers for dreamers, and it's amazing to get to be a part of that. Any type of success that I've had, I think that all comes from a real strong foundational basis that I gained from Project Lead The Way.

- Kelsie O'Brien, PLTW Biomedical Science Alumna United States Air Force Academy

As a teacher, I’m always more concerned with teaching students how to think rather than what to think. With PLTW, we don’t give kids answers – we only give them problems to solve. In addition, our curriculum becomes a means for students to aspire to accomplish great things. When you tap into that instinct in kids – helping others in need – it makes teaching fun and helps them see beyond the content, giving insight into how they can make a difference in the world.

- Jason Williams, PLTW Gateway Teacher Fall Creek Valley Middle School | Indianapolis, Indiana

The kids are constantly working, they’re engaged, they’re happy. They spend a lot of extra time willingly. They come in on Saturdays to do their work. They're very proud of what they do.

- Mark McLaughlin, Vice Principal Stauffer Middle School | Downey, California

Everyone in the class was able to fully engage with the content and immerse themselves in the learning process. The students were able to understand the language and key terms used in the stories and instructions because they got to experience it in a real, dynamic, and hands-on way. This made such a difference in their long-term storage of information, and their ability to link the content they learned in this module to their learning in other core classes.

- Liz Beaty, PLTW Launch Lead Teacher Morning Star Christian School | Bend, Oregon

PLTW helps better prepare students for education and careers, and by recruiting through PLTW high schools, we’ve found that students are better informed and prepared in engineering before they arrive here.

- Cordelia Ontiveros, Associate Dean Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering

I've taught more mathematics, more writing, more science, more history in a computer science class than I ever could in a traditional math class, a traditional science class. American education needs to blend. We need to stop trying to isolate our courses and our disciplines, and everything needs to be interdisciplinary. ... I think Project Lead The Way is well on the way of changing the paradigm of American education.

- Darwin Shorters, PLTW Computer Science Master Teacher St. John's High School | Charleston, South Carolina

Project Lead The Way has defined my professional career. I did not know until I went through the Project Lead The Way training that I had a passion for this particular curriculum. Since 2007 to this date, I can't imagine myself doing anything else other than being a Project Lead The Way teacher. It has transformed my teaching. The empathy that I have developed for my students when they struggle because I understand the struggle of having to learn software and having to be flexible and have a mindset where there isn't always the right answer: It has defined me as an educator.

- Beth Fox, PLTW Gateway Master Teacher William Lenoir Middle School | Lenoir, North Carolina

In addition to curriculum and assessments, adopting a PLTW program includes access to our unmatched teacher training and support resources, as well as ongoing program support and numerous opportunities for students.

Unmatched Professional Development 

PLTW Professional Development infuses a whole new way of teaching into the classroom. Our teacher training empowers educators to lead the engaging, immersive PLTW experience in their classrooms and bring learning to life. We also provide teachers with access to professional learning communities where they can connect with PLTW teachers across the country. 

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Ongoing Program Support 

Our Solution Center provides live support that gives school professionals the resources they need to focus their energy on engaging students. 

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Diverse Student Opportunities 

PLTW’s student opportunities enhance student learning, recognize their accomplishments, and provide additional connections to career. PLTW students have opportunities to earn AP + PLTW recognition, scholarships, and preferred admission at colleges and universities, engage in work-based learning through internships and industry connections, and take advantage of avenues to highlight achievements. 

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