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STEM Courses for K-12

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) provides STEM curriculum for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S.

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STEM Courses

Our Elementary (PreK-5) Program

PLTW Launch taps into students' exploratory nature, engages them in learning that feels like play, and encourages them to keep discovering through activities like designing a car safety belt or building digital animations.

Our Middle School (6-8) Program

PLTW Gateway illuminates the range of pathways and possibilities students can look forward to in high school and beyond through challenges like designing a therapeutic toy for a child with cerebral palsy, cleaning up an oil spill, or solving a fictional crime.

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.

STEM Education Curriculum

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

STEM Goals and Objectives

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. Checkout some examples below!

STEM Goals and Objectives

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.

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STEM Courses K12

Education in fields relating to STEM (meaning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) has become increasingly important over the last few years. There is a growing education gap that is preventing STEM-related jobs from being filled and is therefore causing problems for many important scientific and technological advancements. In order to fill the increasing demand for STEM jobs, there has been a great increase in STEM education, meaning that more schools are beginning to offer STEM programs to their students. These programs often focus on one part of STEM but provide essential problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills that are transferable to any career.

Any STEM program offered by Project Lead the Way (PLTW) works to give students of any age access to real-world applicable learning experiences that can help them to gain these transportable skills to help them be successful in their lives. By beginning STEM experience in STEM courses K-12, students cannot only gain the full benefit of these skills but also can have an advantage if they decide to pursue STEM-related studies in college and any STEM-related careers.

Of course, in order for students to get the best possible experience from STEM programs, their teachers need to be just as well equipped and devoted to helping the students to be successful. With PLTW programs, teachers are provided with the resources and support that they may need to best help their students to succeed.

PLTW’s activity-, project-, and problem-based (APB) instruction method focuses on utilizing hands-on activities, projects, and problems that are applicable to the real world to help students learn. This can help students to understand how the skills and knowledge they learn during their courses can be applied to daily life. This APB instruction method helps students to learn through structured activities that can help empower them to become independent in the classroom and best build the skill sets that can help them to succeed in future courses, careers, and other aspects of life.

STEM Grants For Elementary Schools

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) has numerous grants available that could give educators access to the funds needed to implement PLTW programs. Some of these grants are specifically designed to fund the PLTW elementary program, called PLTW Launch. By taking advantage of STEM grants for elementary schools, elementary teachers can become empowered to build the strongest educational foundation possible for young learners. Elementary educators who struggle to find access to the resources they need, could benefit from applying for grants for STEM education.

The goal of PLTW Launch is to bring learning to life for elementary students. The program promotes a design mindset that encourages students to solve problems by engaging in compelling, hands-on activities. STEM grants for elementary schools provide funding that schools need to afford the materials that make hands-on learning opportunities possible. PLTW Launch focuses on preparing students for further education in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

PLTW Launch curriculum is available in English and Spanish. PLTW is committed to providing access to STEM education to all students, including America’s English Language Learners. Grants for STEM education could give school districts the chance to provide their students with transformative learning experiences, no matter their financial situation.

Free Online Stem Courses For Students

STEM education can be costly; as a result, it can be difficult for schools without funding for STEM-specific programs to be able to give their students the opportunity to engage in meaningful STEM programs. Because of the continually increasing number of STEM-related jobs and the education gap that leaves those jobs unfilled, there has been an increase in funding for STEM programs for young students. These programs include teacher training to best help students gain the most from the STEM curriculums. Free STEM learning through free online STEM programs for high school students, middle school students, and elementary students are becoming more popular. With free online STEM courses for students, this means that more students can have the opportunity to help close the educational gap preventing STEM jobs from being filled.

PLTW offers grants and funding opportunities that help alleviate the cost of the programs. PLTW grants have been extremely helpful in providing funding so districts can access the curriculum as free online STEM programs for elementary students through high school students within the terms of the grant. With over 75 million dollars of school grants to more than 6,600 PreK-12 schools, PLTW and its partners are working hard to ensure that the young generations have the opportunity to explore STEM fields before going into post-secondary education. This not only will help more students to determine whether or not they want to pursue STEM-related fields and careers after secondary school, but it can also help to aid them in their post-secondary education — should they decide to pursue a STEM field.

Online Stem Programs For Elementary Students

With the continued trajectory towards remote learning and remote working, being able to transition courses and programs to online settings is becoming more and more important. This combined with the continued increase in young students pursuing STEM courses has begun the push towards things like STEM websites for elementary students and online stem courses for primary teachers. STEM programs, like the one offered with PLTW, can be adapted to function with online learning environments so that students can be sure to get access to the STEM courses they are interested in, even if they are not able to do them in person.

Through PLTW’s distance learning support resources, any STEM program by PLTW — from the STEM curriculum for preschool, to online STEM programs for elementary students, to the free online STEM courses for teachers — can be accessed online. These resources help to ensure that teachers are equipped with everything that they need to help guide their students and facilitate their learning. This online learning format features flexible lesson plans, resources for teachers and caregivers, high-quality learning experiences, and community-building opportunities between teachers across the country.

Stem Education Curriculum

A good STEM education curriculum can help not only prepare students who are interested in pursuing a STEM-related academic track but also can help to build transferable skills — such as communication, collaboration, creative and critical thinking, and problem-solving — for all students so that they can excel in their lives. Because STEM goals and objectives are often more well suited for long-term learning experiences, a good STEM-focused curriculum will continue to progress year after year. For example, a STEM math curriculum could continue to delve more deeply into more specific aspects of the general subject of mathematics as the student progresses throughout their education.

Complete STEM curriculums, like PLTW’s PreK-12 curriculum, can be adopted by school districts or school systems and implemented throughout the entire PreK-12 education. This long-term curriculum allows students to really delve deeply into the STEM areas that interest them and continue to build upon the skills from previous years to best retain that knowledge. This exposure to STEM education from an early age can help students to identify if pursuing further STEM education is something they want to do and if not, it can help them to continue developing the transferable skills that can help them in other career opportunities.

Stem Courses

What is STEM curriculum? The main difference between STEM and other PreK-12 curriculums is that STEM curriculum focuses on the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, whereas a traditional curriculum focuses on science, mathematics, language arts, and social studies. With the increase of career opportunities in STEM fields, promoting the focus of STEM fields in PreK-12 education systems has become more popular.

School systems that follow the traditional PreK-12 education model can integrate PLTW programs into their schedule and get STEM curriculum kits from PLTW. These kits can help to provide a curriculum that specializes in STEM courses for the students who are interested in pursuing STEM fields. Additional external sources of STEM influence — such as STEM online games — can also help young students to determine their educational model preference. The use of PLTW’s STEM curriculum in PreK-12 education can help to provide more directed learning that uses real-world applicable lessons to help students best understand the implications of what they are learning.

Stem Curriculum High School

A high school STEM curriculum or online STEM activities for high school students can be extremely beneficial for students looking to explore post-secondary education options. If students graduating from high school were able to get experience in STEM courses, they may not only be able to have a better idea of what area of study they would be interested in pursuing in post-secondary education, but they could also get a head start on some of the introductory courses, and be better prepared to begin more area-specific courses. For example, students who participate in a high school engineering curriculum may be able to receive retroactive credit for some of the introductory courses needed to further pursue an engineering field.

The inclusion of STEM curriculum high school allows students who are interested in pursuing STEM-related jobs to be able to access courses that focus on more specific topics. PLTW online STEM courses for high school students include the topics computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Using the PLTW courses, or other STEM curriculum courses, students can explore areas of study that interest them more deeply — if they are STEM-related subjects. Students that are able to learn about a STEM field in high school may have an advantage when pursuing post-secondary education in the same field.

Middle School Stem Curriculum

Having access to a middle school STEM curriculum can help to better prepare students to explore more focused courses once they get to high school. The PLTW Gateway middle school STEM curriculum can help students to develop problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and perseverance skills. Additionally, online STEM programs for middle school students can help students to build knowledge in STEM fields such as computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

If they are able to gain this knowledge from a STEM curriculum, middle school students will have an advantage when transitioning into high school. The online STEM programs for middle school students at PLTW can help to give students an opportunity to expand their knowledge in STEM-related subjects, while still developing transferable skills to help them in their future education and career developments. The ten units in PLTW Gateway help to improve students’ engagement, collaboration, and comprehension while also helping them to lead their educational journeys.