PLTW Launch (PreK-5)
Engage Students’ Natural Curiosity Through Problem-Based Learning
PLTW Launch students learn through exploration and discovery.
Through PLTW Launch, students become hands-on problem solvers and learn to collaborate with their fellow students.
They begin each module with an engaging ebook story featuring the characters Mylo, Suzi, and Angelina, who introduce the challenge students will work together to solve. Then, in a series of activities that build upon each other, students are challenged to become confident in trying new things, to learn from mistakes, and to apply what they know to find solutions.
PLTW Launch addresses Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards for Math and English Language Arts, and other national and state standards. To best fit the needs of your students and school, the program’s 10-hour modules are flexible and customizable: They can be implemented independently or in tandem with one another, at the grade level you want, at any time.
Additionally, all PLTW Launch modules are now available in both English and Spanish, reinforcing our commitment to ensure access to all students, including America’s 5 million English Language Learners.
Life Science: Living and Nonliving Things
Students explore characteristics of living and nonliving things. By examining habitats, students develop an understanding of what living things need in order to survive. They use the design process to sketch, build, and test an animal’s shelter, then reflect on their design.
Structure and Function: Exploring Design
Students discover the design process and how engineers influence their lives. They explore the elements of structure and function by identifying products around them designed by engineers and asking questions engineers might ask. They are introduced to a design problem through a story in which Angelina wants to design a paintbrush. Students apply their knowledge from the module to design their own paintbrushes.
Light and Sound
Students investigate the properties of light and sound, including vibration from sound waves and the effect of different materials on the path of a beam of light. After students develop an understanding of light and sound, they are challenged to solve a design problem Mylo, Suzi, and Angelina face. In the story, the characters are lost and must use only the materials in their backpack to communicate over a distance by using light and/or sound. Students use the design process to sketch, build, test, and reflect on a device that solves this design problem.
Materials Science: Properties of Matter
In this module, students investigate and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties, including color and texture, and heat conduction. Students learn about states of matter and properties of materials. They investigate which materials are good insulators and which are good conductors. After building their knowledge and skills throughout the module, students determine the best materials to use as they design a prototype to keep an ice pop frozen for at least 30 minutes.
Stability and Motion: Science of Flight
In this module, students learn about the forces involved in flight. They design, build, and test an experimental model glider to find out how air and other forces affect its flight. Students discover aeronautics alongside Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi and are inspired by the characters’ desire to use their skills to help those in need. Students apply the design process to the problem of delivering aid to an area where supplies must be airlifted in and dropped to the ground from an aircraft.
Students explore the properties of mechanisms and how they change energy by transferring direction, speed, type of movement, and force. Students discover a variety of ways potential energy can be stored and released as kinetic energy. They explain the relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object, as well as predict the transfer of energy as a result of a collision between two objects. The design problem is introduced by Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi watching amusement park bumper cars collide. As students solve the problem for this module, they apply their knowledge and skills to develop a vehicle restraint system.
Robotics and Automation
Students explore the ways robots are used in today’s world and their impact on society and the environment. Students learn about a variety of robotic components as they build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely. Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi are tasked with designing a mobile robot that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site. Students are then challenged to design, model, and test a mobile robot that solves this design problem.