PLTW 101

Empower Students to Thrive in an
Evolving World
PLTW State Conference, Jan. 26, 2016 ……
About Project Lead The Way
8,000 schools
More than 840 schools in California alone
more than13,000 PLTW teachers trained
more than
54 university affiliates
6 in California
700,000 students take a PLTW course every day
with100s of partners
More than
PLTW Programs
Offered in ten-hour
modules, engages
students in analysis,
creative thinking, and
problem solving as
they explore a wide
range of topics.
Offered in nineweek units, inspires
critical thinking to
explore STEM
careers through
topics such as
energy, robotics,
healthcare, and
Offered in full-year
Offered in full- and
courses, investigates
half-year courses,
biomedical careers
through concepts such computational thinking
as human medicine,
skills and through
physiology, genetics,
concepts including
microbiology, and
coding, data mining,
public health.
big data, and
Offered in full-year
courses, explores the
engineering design
process by linking
STEM principles to
real-world problem
solving in various
engineering fields.
Making a Difference in Students’ Lives
PLTW contributes to a strong, positive impact on mathematics and science
achievement and offers a pathway to prepare and motivate students to enter
careers in science and engineering.
Recent studies have shown:
High school graduates
who participated in PLTW
were nearly three times
as likely to major in
STEM, and 3 to 4 times
more likely to study
engineering, versus nonPLTW graduates.
PLTW students are more
prepared for and
attended higher
education institutions at
a higher rate and scored
higher on the state’s
Many engineering
universities report high
and increasing levels of
PLTW student
More research about PLTW:
PLTW Alumni Data
Milwaukee School of
121 former PLTW students
90% Retention (first year)
Average PLTW GPA is 0.18 higher
Oklahoma State University
101 former PLTW students
81.5% Retention (in engineering)
12.3% Transferred (out of
Activities, Projects, and Problems
PLTW® AP2 Modality
Activities are written and designed to provide students the
experience needed to acquire the skills they will use throughout
a course.
Projects are written and designed to aid students in developing
and beginning to apply critical thinking skills and knowledge.
Problems are written and designed to utilize all skills and
knowledge acquired through activities and projects in an openended format that aids students in developing full understanding
of the main concepts and principles of the course.
Project-based learning gives
• Hands-on, rigorous, relevant,
real-world experiences
• The chance to use scientific
sensors, VEX & ROBOTC,
industry software (Revit,
• Opportunities to be creative
and solve problems
• The realization that there
isn’t just one right answer
What Students do Well in PLTW?
Students who:
• Show interest in STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, or Math) career fields.
• Are creative – Like art and design.
• Enjoy working with computers.
• Learn best in “hands-on” classes.
• Are in the upper 80% of their class.
Launch video
Early Access Matters
percent of scientists and graduate
students in a 2010 study stated
that their interest in science began
before middle school.
PLTW Launch
• Kindergarten
Structure & Function: Exploring Design
Pushes and Pulls
Structure & Function: Human Body
Animals & Algorithms
• First Grade
Light and Sound
Light: Observing the Sun, Moon, and
Animal Adaptations
Animated Storytelling
• Second Grade
Materials Science: Properties of Matter
Materials & Science: Form & Function
The Changing Earth
Grids & Games
• Third Grade
Stability & Motion: Science of Flight
Stability & Motion: Forces &
Variation of Traits
Programming Patterns
• Fourth Grade
Energy: Collisions
Energy: Conversion
Input/Output: Computer Systems
Input/Output: Human Brain
• Fifth Grade
Robotics & Automation
Robotics & Automation: Challenge
Infection: Detection
Infection: Modeling & Simulation
World-Class Curriculum
• Activity, project, problem-based
• Aligned to Common Core and NGSS
• Allows for flexibility and customization
– Designed for Kindergarten to 5th grade
– Four modules per grade. Each module is ~10
• First module of each grade focuses on the
design process
• Integrates formative and summative
PLTW Design Pathway
Design Process for Every Age
Process K-5
What it looks like & means K-2
What it looks like & means 3-5
Students ask questions, make observations and
gather information to define a simple problem.
Students define a simple design problem including
specified criteria and constraints.
Students develop simple drawings to generate ideas
of how to solve the given problem.
Students generate and compare multiple possible
Students develop a simple sketch to illustrate how
the chosen concept will function to solve the given
problem and develop a simple physical model.
Students develop a solution to a problem based on how
well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of
the problem and construct a prototype.
Students analyze data from tests of two objects and
compare strengths and weaknesses of how each
Students plan and carry out fair tests in which variables
are controlled. Students consider failure points of data
collected to identify aspects of the design solution that
can be improved.
Students reflect on their design solution including
one or two suggestions for improvement.
Students communicate their design solution including
specific suggestions for improvement.
Launch Modules (first two of four per grade)
Module Titles
Aligned to Grade
Structure and Function
Pushes and Pulls
Waves: Light and Sound
1st grade
Observing the Earth, Sun, Moon, and Stars
1st grade
Matter and Materials Science
2nd grade
Engineering Design: Dispersing Seeds
2nd grade
Motion and Stability: Science of Flight
3rd grade
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
3rd grade
Energy: Collisions
4th grade
Energy: Conversion
4th grade
Robotics: The Power of Automation
5th grade
Robotics: Challenge
5th grade
Paintbrush Design Activity
Aligned to Kindergarten standards
Scalable, school-wide model for
elementary core training
PLTW three-phased approach fully supports elementary STEM teachers:
Readiness Training
On-demand and live-online
Focus on core knowledge/skill
Core Training
3 days in-person training for the program
Focus on pedagogy and activity, project, problem-based learning
Ongoing Training
On-demand and live online by module
Focus on pedagogical-content knowledge by module
Gateway To Technology units
9 week units designed for grades 6-8
Foundation Units
Design & Modeling
Automation & Robotics
Specialized Units
Medical Detectives
Flight & Space
Science of Technology
Energy and the
Green Architecture
Magic of Electrons
Intro to Computer Science
Gateway foundation units
• Design & Modeling
– Apply design process to solve problems
– Work in teams to design a hobby organizer, furniture,
new playground
– Use Autodesk® design software to create virtual
image of designs and produce a portfolio of solutions
• Automation & Robotics
– Learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer,
machine automation, and computer control systems
– Use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and
program real-world objects
Gateway specialization units
• Energy and the Environment
Design and model alternative energy sources and evaluate options for reducing energy consumption
through energy efficiency and sustainability
• Flight and Space
Explore the science behind aeronautics; design, build, and test an airfoil
• Green Architecture
Study dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability; design affordable housing units
using Autodesk’s® 3D architectural design software
• Magic of Electrons
Delve into electricity, the behavior and parts of atoms, and sensing devices; learn knowledge and
skills in basic circuitry design and examine the impact of electricity
• Medical Detectives
Analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime
scene”; learn how to measure and interpret vital signs and diagnose diseases
• Science of Technology
Apply concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to activities and projects including making
ice cream, cleaning up an oil spill, and designing, building, and testing a new product
• Introduction to Computer Science
Designed to be the first computer science course for students who have never programmed before,
ICS is an optional starting point for the PLTW Computer Science program.
Gateway grows student interest in PLTW’s
advanced programs and STEM careers
Gateway To Technology Unit
Pathway To Engineering and Biomedical Sciences
PLTW Courses
Automation and Robotics
Principles of Engineering
Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Computer Science/Software Engineering
Design and Modeling
Introduction to Engineering Design
Energy and the Environment
Biotechnical Engineering
Principles of Engineering
Flight and Space
Aerospace Engineering
Green Architecture
Civil Engineering and Architecture
Medical Detectives
Principles of the Biomedical Sciences
Human Body Systems
Medical Interventions
Biomedical Innovation
Magic of Electrons
Digital Electronics
Science of Technology
Biotechnical Engineering
Introduction to Engineering Design
Principles of Engineering
Introduction to Computer Science (ICS, 0.5 year)
Designed to be the first computer science course for students
who have never programmed before, ICS is an optional starting point for
the PLTW Computer Science program. Students create interactive
stories in Scratch™ (an easy-to-use programming language); work in
teams to create simple apps for mobile devices using App Inventor; and
analyze data about students' health, social habits, and interests using
functions in Excel®.
Students will learn the impact of computing in society and the application
of computing across career paths. They will also transfer the
understanding of programming gained in App Inventor to a third
language, Python®, in which they learn introductory elements of textbased programming.
The course aligns with the Computer Science Teachers Association
(CSTA) 3A standards.
Training for the Gateway units
Training for the Gateway units will be
offered as one week or 3-day sessions.
These will be:
• AR – automation & robotics, one week
• DM – design and modeling, one week
• FS, ME, ST, GA, and EE are 3 days
• MD, ICS one week
Gateway Program
Summary of Program Requirements
• All Gateway courses are designed as 45 class
periods that are approximately 45 minutes long.
• Schools may offer courses from grade six
through grade eight in a manner determined
reasonable and appropriate for the school. Local
schools will determine the PLTW sequence of
units which they will implement to fulfill their
PLTW Biomedical Science
Full-Year Courses:
• Principles of Biomedical Science
• Human Body Systems
• Medical Interventions
• Biomedical Innovations
Biomedical Sciences Program
Summary of Program Requirements
• Schools must offer the PLTW courses in
– Flexible program
• Students can begin the program in 9th,
10th or 11th grade.
• Can take 1 course each year or double
up and take 2 consecutive courses
Biomedical Sciences Program
Summary of Program Requirements
• Schools must offer a minimum of three PLTW
• All PLTW courses require concurrent enrollment
in college preparatory mathematics and science
• All PLTW courses are designed as year-long
courses (45-50 minute schedule).
– Block Schedule (90 min.): can be completed
in a semester
Course # 1: Principles
of the Biomedical
 Study of human medicine, research
processes and an introduction to
 Investigate the human body systems and
various health conditions including: heart
disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease,
hypercholesterolemia, and infectious
Course #2: Human Body Systems
 Students study basic human physiology, especially in
relationship to human health. A central theme is how
the body systems work together to maintain internal
balance and good health.
 Students use data acquisition software to monitor
body functions and use the Anatomy with Clay®
Manikens™ to study body structure.
Course #3: Medical Interventions
 Investigate various medical interventions that
extend and improve the quality of life
including: diagnostics, surgery,
pharmacology, bio-nanotechnology,
prosthetics, rehabilitation, and lifestyle
Course #4: Biomedical Innovation
Capstone Course – Apply their knowledge and skills to solve
problems related to the biomedical sciences
Work with a mentor/advisor from a university, hospital,
physician’s office, or industry as they complete their research
and problem-solution process
Present their findings and results in a symposium style
format to an audience, consisting of representatives from the
local healthcare or business community or the school’s PLTW
partnership team
Biomedical Innovation Problems:
 Design a more efficient emergency room.
 Design an experiment using sensors and data
acquisition software to monitor or measure a
physiological change.
 Design a medical intervention to aid patients.
 Evaluate water quality and propose solutions
to eliminate contamination of water sources.
 Design a solution to a local or global public
health challenge.
Engineering Course Structure
• Introduction to
• Principles of
Civil Engineering &
Digital Electronics
Computer Science
Engineering Design
& Development
Introduction to Engineering
Design Overview
IED Units
Design Process
Technical Sketching and Drawing
Measurement and Statistics
Modeling Skills
Geometry of Design
Reverse Engineering
Advanced Computer Modeling
Design Team
Design Challenges
Introduction To Engineering Design
Unit 1: Introduction to Design
The design process
Technical sketching and drawing
Puzzle cube project
Unit 2: Design Solutions
Geometric shapes and solids
Dimensions and tolerances
Advanced 3D modeling skills and designs
Principles of Engineering
POE Units
• Energy and Power
• Materials and Structures
• Control Systems
• Statistics & Ballistics
 Solar Hydrogen System
Truss Design
Pneumatic Brake Design
Self Propelled Vehicle
Specialization Courses
Aerospace Engineering (AE)
– Learn the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight through projects such as
designing an airfoil, propulsion system, rocket and glider
Environmental Sustainability (ES)
– Engage in design problems related to clean water, food supply issues and renewable
Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA)
– Discover the design and construction industry while designing both residential and
commercial projects using Autodesk® 3D-architectural design software
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
– Explore designing products for manufacturability, manufacturing processes, CNC
machining, factory system modeling, automation, and robotics
Digital Electronics (DE)
– Learn the fundamentals of combinational and sequential logic circuit design and create
fully-functioning digital circuits
Computer Science & Software Engineering (CSE)
– Also a foundation course in the new Computer Science pathway
Environmental Sustainability
Biological Engineering for a Better
Ensuring Safe and Abundant Water
Food Security
Renewable Fuels
Students investigate and design solutions in response to
real‐world challenges related to clean
and abundant drinking water, food supply issues, and
renewable energy. Students research and design
potential solutions to these true‐to‐life
Civil Engineering & Architecture
CEA Units
Overview of Civil
Engineering & Architecture
Residential Design
Commercial Applications
Commercial Building
• Green Utility Shed
Keystone Library
• Engineering Design and Development (EDD)
– Research, design, and construct solutions to engineering
• Components
– Project Management
– Researching a Problem
– Designing a Solution
– Creating a Prototype and Testing Plan
– Evaluation and Reflection on the Design Process
– Presentation of the Design Process
– Going Beyond Engineering Design and Development
Pathway to Engineering Program
Summary of Program Requirements
• Schools must offer a minimum of three PLTW
courses over a three-year period. These three
courses must include IED and POE and a minimum
of one specialization and/or capstone course of the
school’s choice.
• All PLTW courses require concurrent enrollment in
college preparatory mathematics. Concurrent
enrollment in college preparatory science is strongly
PLTW Computer Science
• Introduction to Computer Science (0.5 year)
• Computer Science and Software Engineering
(1 year)
• Computer Science Applications (1 year)
• Simulation and Modeling (0.5 year)
• Artificial Intelligence (0.5 year)
• Cybersecurity (0.5 year)
• Computational Problem Solving (1 year)
Computer Science and Software Eng
Unit 1. Graphics and GUIs
Students work with Scratch and Python languages to
solve a number of Graphics Problems
Unit 2. The Web
Students are introduced to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL
and PHP to learn about the Internet and the Web.
Unit 3. Discovery in data and App Invention
Students study large-scale data collection and analysis
in a variety of applications. They create a mobile app
that stores a large data set concerning themselves.
Unit 4. Predicting, Understanding and Communicating
with Simulation
Students identify problems and questions that can be
addressed with computer simulation, This final project is
student directed and relevant to their own life.
Pathway to Engineering – Foundations
• Introduction to Engineering Design
[g – Elective: Interdisciplinary; f – Visual Arts]
• Principles of Engineering
[g – Elective: Interdisciplinary]
Pathway to Engineering Specialization & Capstone
• Aerospace Engineering
[g – Elective: Interdisciplinary]
Civil Engineering & Architecture
[g – Elective: Interdisciplinary]
Computer Integrated Manufacturing
[g – Elective: Other]
Computer Science & Software Engineering
[g – Elective:Mathematics]
Digital Electronics
[g – Elective: Interdisciplinary]
Engineering Design & Development
[d – Lab Science: Interdisciplinary]
Biomedical Science
• Principles of Biomedical Sciences (PBS)
[d – Lab Science]
• Human Body Systems (HBS)
[d – Lab Science]
• Medical Interventions (MI)
[d – Lab Science]
• Biomedical Innovation (BI)
[g – Elective: Lab Science]
Future a-g efforts will focus on changing
interdisciplinary electives to science electives so
they can satisfy the new CSU entry option.
Updates available at
Or the UC “a-g doorways” portal; search under
Project Lead The Way.
PLTW Student Opportunity through
STEM Premier
• PLTW students can create a
free profile and showcase their
best work, brand themselves,
and connect to colleges and
companies based on their skills
and interests.
• Available at no cost to PLTW
middle and high school
students (ages 13 and older).
• Students sign up through
Common Core State Standards & Next
Generation Science Standards Alignment
•As of October 2012, all PLTW courses and
units are aligned to Common Core State
Standards for Mathematics and English
Language Arts.
•Alignments to Next Generation Science
Standards (NGSS) are also available
•Form to request alignments are available at
PLTW Professional Development
Professional Development for Teachers
Three phases:
Conducted in partnership with nearly 60 colleges and
universities across the country.
More than 6,000 teachers trained in 2014.
2016 Summer Core Training for CA
The tentative training schedule is listed in the conference brochure
Engineering, GTT, Launch:
Cal Poly Pomona
San Diego State University
San Jose State University
Chico State University
Cal State East Bay
University of San Diego
Registration Process: Teachers will need to complete their online pre-training before being
able to register. Reservations: If your school has an outstanding balance from a previous
summer training, you will not be allowed to reserve a spot nor register at any of the
Affiliates’ trainings.
Refresher Workshops
Fall and Spring workshops available
Free to PLTW teachers
Various regional workshops
Visit Calendar/Events Page on
Continue Your Learning
March 20-23, 2016
Indianapolis, Indiana
The Most Important Things
you will Hear Today…
• PLTW is an Elective and it is NOT “Magic”,
• You must recruit students, especially girls.
• You must have “kid-magnet” teachers.
Versatile Implementation Models
• Combine classes, one teacher in a block;
– Teach IED and Geometry
– Teach POE and Physics
• Use at low-performing academies to grab the
forgotten middle that sleeps through lecture.
• School within a school.
• Career Pathway in Linked Learning
• Core classes in a CPA
• Use as the core of a magnet academy
Recruiting Techniques
• Recruit a “rock star” teacher
• Take PLTW students and projects to other classes.
• Student demographics should match the ones you
want to recruit
• Recruit at the Middle Schools (esp. feeder
• Help the Middle Schools run the GTT program
• Tell parents using PTA, local papers, and “Elective
• Start a Robotics Team or Tinkering Club
• Work on making the courses girl-friendly; teach
“Design” not “Pre- Engineering”
School District Commitments
Implement PLTW curriculum
Support teachers in Professional Development
Counselors participate in conferences
Provide teachers with specified equipment
Form a teacher-led partnership team
Participate in student evaluation of PLTW
Commit to on-going training opportunities
Interact with PLTW State Leader
Option to become certified PLTW school
Launch Costs
Investment Area
Program Participation Fee
Professional Development
Price Range
Per school (per unique school
NCES Code)
Lead Teacher Training &
Additional Classroom
Teachers, Training & Cert.
General Supply Kits (Per class
of 30 students, per module)
Classroom Kits
VEX IQ Robotics Equipment
(2-4 students/kit)
Classroom set of 12 (iPad or
iPad Minis)
Cost to Schools
Participation Fee - $3,000 PTE, $750 GTT, $2,000 BMS, $2,000 CSE, $750
• Teacher training ($2,500 registration fee + $1,200 housing)
• Facilities (need a computer lab + prototyping/project lab)
Equipment for 30-35 students (course dependent costs)
POE: $15,000
AE: $13,500
CEA: $3,000
CIM: $31,000
EDD : $1,200
CSE: $5,000
PBS: $20,000
HBS: $10,000
MI: $5,000
GTT(AR+DM): $18,000
GTT(All Others): $14,000
Typical PLTW High School Implementation Timeline
Academic Year (Aug. – July)
Year 1: - Attend Information Conference
- Sign District Agreement
- Teacher attends Summer Training in IED
Year 2: - Offer IED
- Teacher attends Summer Training in POE
Year 3: - Offer IED and POE
- Teacher attends Summer Training in a specialty course
Year 4: - Offer IED, POE, and specialty course
High School Program Quality Process
Official Program (New school, data tracking begins)
 Signed agreement
 Trained teacher
 Participation fee paid
Certified Program (Minimum PLTW (or state) requirements met)
 Three (3) courses offered (or state requirement above three) *
 Students rostered (starting year one)
 Assessments administered * (starting year one)
 Current version of the curriculum in use
 Approved and adequate equipment and software for students and teachers
 Evidence of proper use of the engineering / lab notebook
 Partnership team in place
 Counselors trained
 Evidence of program marketing
- If you are in year one without a trained teacher (i.e. a teacher on an approved PDP), you are not
yet an Official program.
Program Certification for High Schools
PLTW Provisional Program ….. New programs without a fully
developed program will be a PLTW Program upon completion of initial
core training. After completion of the third EoC assessment and
related requirements they will be a Certified Program.
PLTW Certified Program ….. Mandatory quality level awarded upon
successful completion of five key components:
• Program of study with a three course minimum
• Trained teachers for all courses offered
• EoC assessments completed
• Trained counselors
• Partnership team
PLTW Model Program ….Certified program with additional quality
Some Deadlines
Summer Training Schedule Posted
District or School Signups
Jan 15
March 1
for summer training opens ~March 15
Agreement (if a new District)
May 1
The California Regional Centers
• Conduct summer training sessions
• Hold informational conferences
• Conduct professional development
workshops for the PLTW teachers
• Promote the PLTW program within CA
• Provide student programs and benefits
PLTW California Scholar Student
Medallions & Certificates
FOR: Graduating PLTW High School seniors
– Completed 3 or more PLTW High
School courses with a B or better in
either the PLTW Engineering or
Biomedical Science programs
COST: Free! However, we have limited availability of the medallions
and certificates, so it will be first come, first serve.
To request medallions for your students:
• By April 1st, send an Excel list of students’ names, PLTW courses
completed, and students’ email addresses, along with your school’s
mailing address & graduation ceremony date to
[email protected]
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