PLTW Launch (PreK-5)

Amazing Discoveries Start Here

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​Inspiring. Engaging. Empowering.​

Your PreK-5 students already have the qualities of great designers and innovators. What PLTW Launch does is tap into their exploratory nature, engage them in learning that feels like play, and encourage them to keep discovering – now and for years to come.

PLTW Launch’s 43 interdisciplinary modules bring learning to life. The program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them. And as students engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge. 

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. 

Your Science Solution

PLTW Launch is designed to meet your science learning needs. The modules intentionally connect to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as well as best practices in science education as outlined by the A Framework for K-12 Science Education. This ensures an unmatched experience combining three-dimensional learning; activity-, project-, and problem-based (APB) instructional approach; real-world applied learning; and full coverage of NGSS performance expectations – all in one program.

Planning Tools:  NGSS Overview  |  NGSS Crosswalk  | Module Descriptions

You can explore how the modules connect to various standards in the module-specific information below.

We would like to thank Arconic Foundation, Chevron, PPG Foundation, and SunPower for their generous support that made the important PLTW Launch expansion updates possible.

I am amazed to see how engaged all of the students are when they are doing a PLTW module. Students are able to think like an engineer at a very young age. It is very gratifying to see the students using problem-solving skills and collaborating on their own. They learn how to work together and create a design that is the best solution to a problem, even if it isn’t their own idea. Students realize that their first idea might not always work, but they can keep going back to make changes. They are able to compare multiple solutions to a problem and select one to develop collaboratively. ... It is amazing what these young kids are doing!

- Airielle Hodges, PLTW Launch Master Teacher Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum | Kenosha, Wisconsin

One of the things we really like about the curriculum is how developmentally appropriate it is for kids. It capitalizes on children’s own wonder and curiosity and draws them into the learning process. We’re giving them a firm foundation. We’re giving them the technology and resources they need. But the students are constructing their own knowledge, and there’s a strong ownership and strong engagement as a result of that.

- Mary Hall, PLTW Launch Teacher Jackson Elementary School | Hillsboro, Oregon

This idea of the design process and feedback has carried over into every part of our learning day. In writing, students are revising and editing their own work and then discussing it with a partner to make it even better. In reading, students are practicing reading fluently and setting reflective goals of how they can improve.

- Christy Morris, PLTW Launch Teacher Manor Hill Elementary | Liberty, Missouri

Thanks to Project Lead The Way, I have students who leave elementary school demanding more engineering classes at the next level. I have students who say they’ve changed their mind about their future, and now they want to be an engineer. Without PLTW, engineering would still be a foreign concept to my students. The opportunities they’ve been given have now made this a viable pathway for them and their future.

- Brandon Lewis, PLTW Launch Teacher Lewis & Clark Elementary | Liberty, Missouri

Building a Strong Foundation for Middle School, High School, and Beyond

Each PLTW Launch module engages students in cross-disciplinary activities that spark a lifelong love of learning and build knowledge and skills in areas including computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. In addition, each module empowers students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance. 

Aligned to Pre-Kindergarten Standards

Life Science: Living and Nonliving Things

Students explore characteristics of living and nonliving things.

Matter: Floating and Sinking

Students develop an understanding of matter by examining solids and liquids through hands-on activities, projects, and problems.

Healthy Habits

Students develop an understanding of healthy habits and learn how food affects growth, gross motor skills (muscles), the heart, teeth, and eyes.

Spatial Sense and Coding

Students develop spatial sense as they engage in activities that explore directional movement – over, under, through, and around.

Aligned to Kindergarten Standards

Structure and Function: Exploring Design

Students discover the design process, identify products around them designed by engineers, and use what they’ve learned to design their own paintbrushes.

Pushes and Pulls

Students investigate different pushes and pulls and apply what they know to a swing set-installation project.

Structure and Function: Human Body

Students explore the relationship between structure and function in the human body and design a cast.

Animals and Algorithms

Students explore the ways people control and use technology, as well as program their own digital animations.

Sunlight and Weather

Students build upon their knowledge of how the Sun warms Earth.

Living Things: Needs and Impacts

Students explore the impact of human needs and wants on the natural environment.

Aligned to First Grade Standards

Light and Sound

Students investigate light and sound and design a tool to communicate over a distance.

Light: Observing the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Students build upon their knowledge of light and design a playground structure that protects students from UV radiation.

Animal Adaptations

Students learn about animal adaptations and apply what they’ve learned to design a shoe made for desert exploration.

Animated Storytelling

Students build computational-thinking skills by creating animations based on their own short stories. 

Designs Inspired by Nature

Students learn from and are inspired by the external parts of plants and animals.

Aligned to Second Grade Standards

Materials Science: Properties of Matter

Students explore materials science and devise a way to keep popsicles cold – without a cooler.

Materials Science: Form and Function

Students research the variety of ways animals disperse seeds and pollinate plants and use what they know to design a gardening device.

The Changing Earth

Students explore how the surface of the Earth is always changing and design solutions for a fictional community threatened by a landslide.

Grids and Games

Students learn about the sequence and structure required in computer programs and work in teams to build tablet games.

Living Things: Diversity of Life

Students discover the importance of biodiversity in habitats and explore the needs of plants for sunlight and water.

Aligned to Third Grade Standards

Stability and Motion: Science of Flight

Students learn about the forces involved in flight and design a solution to deliver aid supplies via an aircraft.

Stability and Motion: Forces and Interactions

Students explore simple machines such as wheel and axles, levers, the inclined plane, and more and then use what they know to rescue a trapped zoo animal.

Variation of Traits

Students explore the results of the variation of inherited traits.

Programming Patterns

Students discover the power of modularity and abstraction and then use what they know to create a video game for a tablet.

Weather: Factors and Hazards

Students investigate the roles that precipitation, temperature, and wind have in understanding weather and weather-related hazards.

Life Cycles and Survival

Students learn about life cycles and the features of living in a group.

Environmental Changes

Students develop an understanding of the impact of environmental changes on living organisms.

Aligned to Fourth Grade Standards

Energy: Collisions

Students investigate how mechanisms change energy by transferring direction, speed, type of movement, and force and then use what they know to design a car safety belt.

Energy: Conversion

Students learn how energy can be converted to meet a human need or want and then develop solutions to move donated food from a truck to a food pantry.

Input/Output: Computer Systems

Students explore how computers work and create a reaction-time computer program to assess a baseline before a concussion occurs.

Input/Output: Human Brain

Students learn about stimuli and responses and then use what they know to create a video to teach children about concussions.

Waves and the Properties of Light

Students examine the properties of waves and investigate light waves.

Organisms: Structure & Function

Students investigate characteristics of living organisms, including their structures and how they function to promote survival.

Earth: Past, Present, and Future

Students discover how natural processes shape Earth over time.

Earth: Human Impact and Natural Disasters

Students learn about human impact on Earth and the impact of natural disasters on humans.

Aligned to Fifth Grade Standards

Robotics and Automation

Students explore the ways robots are used in today’s world and then design a mobile robot that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site.

Robotics and Automation: Challenge

Students explore mechanical design and computer programming and design an automatic-guided vehicle to deliver supplies in a hospital.

Infection: Detection

Students explore the transmission of infection and run an experiment to help find ways to prevent the spread of illness.

Infection: Modeling and Simulation

Students investigate models and simulations and apply their knowledge to program a model that simulates the spread of infections. 

Matter: Properties and Reactions

Students build upon their knowledge of the properties of matter.

Ecosystems: Flow of Matter and Energy

Students research plants and animals in an ecosystem and use the knowledge to address impacts due to human activity.

Patterns in the Universe

Students develop an understanding of different celestial bodies and their movement.

Earth's Water and Interconnected Systems

Students investigate about Earth’s systems.

A Transformative Professional Development Experience Centered on Student and Teacher Success

PLTW Launch Professional Development engages teachers in a collaborative, hands-on learning experience that challenges them to look at their role in a different way.

Teachers will develop an understanding of the activity-, project-, problem-based (APB) instructional approach, embrace their role as facilitators of learning, and gain familiarity with grade-level PLTW Launch modules.

PLTW Launch teachers have access to ongoing training opportunities throughout the school year, including robust instructional support, on-demand resources, and a community of collaborative educators to connect and interact with through our online tool Community.

PLTW Launch Professional Development goes beyond preparing teachers to facilitate and deliver a transformative learning experience in their classroom: It also provides teachers with the opportunity to advance their careers as instructional leaders and program champions.

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Student-Centered, Balanced Assessment

Our assessment experts apply industry best practices and methods to design, test, and implement assessments for our network of schools. A summative assessment is available within each PLTW Launch module. This check for understanding targets specific knowledge and skills gained throughout the module. 

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