PLTW Computer Science (9-12)

Empower Your Students to Be Technology Trailblazers


Bringing Computer Science to Life

At a time when computer science affects how we work and live, PLTW Computer Science empowers students in grades 9-12 to become creators, instead of merely consumers, of the technology all around them. 

The program’s interdisciplinary courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges. As students work together to design solutions, they learn computational thinking – not just how to code – and become better thinkers and communicators. Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

PLTW Computer Science courses are part of the AP + PLTW computer science pathway.

A dynamic, relevant, fun, problem- and project-based classroom is the way to transition students from ‘ When will the bell ring?’ to ‘I want to be a part of this!’ A classroom like this privileges depth over breadth and current/cutting edge over the staid.

- Scott Lukesh, PLTW Computer Science Teacher Fremont Academy of Engineering and Design | Pomona, California

Once students graduate, they are more inclined to take elective courses in computer science, as students have told me that the experience they have from Computer Science Principles has made their college CS courses less intimidating. We have students from our small high school now pursuing college degrees in computer science.

- Timothy Phelps, PLTW Computer Science Teacher Lakeland High School | Scott Township, Pennsylvania

My passion for CS comes from the possibilities of helping people. I want to help create products and applications that make people's lives easier. I want to design intuitive interfaces so that people can adapt to technologies faster.

- Aaron Suarez, PLTW Alumnus MIT Computer Science, Class of '16

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

Building a Strong Foundation for College and Career

Whether building apps to meet client needs or exploring cybersecurity, PLTW Computer Science engages students in interdisciplinary activities that not only build knowledge and skills in computer science, but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance. The program’ s courses empowers students with in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they choose. 

Introduction to Computer Science

Students learn the fundamentals of programming and build computational-thinking skills, then apply what they know to design solutions such as crowdsourcing apps. 

Computer Science Principles

Using Python® as a primary tool, students explore and become inspired by career paths that utilize computing, discover tools that foster creativity and collaboration, and use what they’ve learned to tackle challenges like app development and simulation. This course is endorsed by the College Board, giving students the opportunity to take the AP CSP exam for college credit.

Computer Science A

Students collaborate to create original solutions to problems of their own choosing by designing and implementing user interfaces and Web-based databases, as well as creating a game for their friends or an app to serve a real need in the their community. This course is aligned to the AP CSA framework. 


Students explore the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Available Fall 2018.

A Transformative Professional Development Experience Centered on Student and Teacher Success

PLTW Computer Science Professional Development is a dynamic learning experience for teachers focused on robust and flexible instructional support, on-demand resources, and a close-knit community of collaboration with fellow educators. 

Readiness Training is the beginning of the PLTW Computer Science Professional Development journey. During this engaging online training, teachers get introduced to PLTW and develop key foundational knowledge. Next, educators participate in 80 hours of Core Training, an in-depth, collaborative learning experience focused on pedagogy and course-specific content. Once teachers return to the classroom, they engage in online Ongoing Training to continuously develop and improve.

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Student-Centered, Balanced Assessment

Our assessment experts collaborate with classroom teachers and apply industry best practices and methods to design, test, and implement assessments for our network of schools. 

PLTW supports a balanced approach to assessment for all programs, integrating both formative and summative assessments that allow teachers to monitor student progress and modify instruction as needed. Through a balanced assessment approach, assessment is an ongoing activity. Students demonstrate their knowledge throughout the course by completing activities, projects, and problems using a variety of assessment tools – such as performance rubrics, reflective questioning, and End-of-Course (EoC) assessments – to deepen and expand their knowledge and skills.

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