Planning for PLTW Gateway To Technology (GTT) Classes May

Planning for PLTW Gateway To Technology (GTT) Classes May, 2013
Regina Brinker
Christensen Middle School; Livermore
- Student Selection -PLTW suggests that classes are for upper 80% of students
~ 24 students/class is idea. Class size limited by the number of laptops you have
I’ve had 32 students in a class, and have an SDS student with an aide
-Desired student characteristics include ability to work in a team, trustworthiness,
-Aim for a diverse class (you will be asked to report class demographics)
- Preparing Your Space/Materials -Plan for work areas to complete projects
-Secure place for computers
-Watch for sales on composition notebooks
-Will need rulers, clear tape. T-squares are nice to have
-Have a basket or place for notebooks
-Have safety glasses
-Donors Choose is a good source for materials. STEM projects targeted in early fall.
-Many grants available to support STEM classes.
-Be prepared: your computers may not be ready at the start of school.
That’s OK! Be nice to your tech support!
- Summer Training -You will complete all lessons that students will do, including homework. You will
complete a trimester’s worth of work in a week.
-Take lots of notes, photos, video. Instruction goes fast!
- Classroom Management is First Priority!
-Establish clear behavior expectations.
-Review at back-to-school night.
-Have quick and specific consequences for inappropriate behavior
-Have a safety policy (like a science lab safety plan). Note that students may be using
hot glue guns, drills, saws, drill press. Parents give or deny consent for students to
use the tools. Require parent and student signatures.
-Students are expected to work in teams throughout the year. Mix up the teams.
Most of my grades are based on engineering reports, not on success if invention.
- Be Honest With Your Students -Let them know that this is the first year you are teaching robotics, etc.
They will search for answers to questions, problems and share with others. Learn
- Start the Year With a Simple Design Activity Students are excited about the class right away.
Use the design activity to glimpse creativity, teamwork, resilience.
Also, use design activity to introduce notebook criteria, engineering design pathway.
- Support Networks -PLTW online forums
-PLTW updating website
-Your summer trainers and classmates
-NSTA’s STEM online community
-Our regional PLTW meetings. Take advantage of PLTW opportunities!
- Connect With the Community -Invite speakers to visit
-Invite businesses to visit
-Open House for STEM to show off projects
-Publicize your students’ work!
-Facebook page (ours is STEM Exploration Classes)
*Take lots of pictures of student work
*Always mention PLTW and your sponsors
- PLTW Lessons Align with Common Core Standards (CCS) and
Next Generation Science Standards Students should be writing an engineering report for each project. The engineering
report includes measurements and a technical drawing. For some projects, students
may also include data tables and sketches. Middle school CCS ask that students
write/read technical papers and use and interpret graphic information (graphs, data
tables, charts).
California is expected to adopt the national Next Generation Science Standards in
2014. At each grade level, students are expected to complete an engineering project
for several teaching units. PTLW fills that need.
- Engineering Role Models for Students to Research Engineering Go For It!
Career Girls:
You Tube: search key words “a day in the life of a ______ engineer”
- Supplemental Reading There is no assigned text for GTT. You may create your own background reading
assignment by using CK-12, an online textbook program, CK-12 ( You can
create your own online textbook. Video links, review questions, and discussion
questions are included in each section.
- Challenge Events If you find yourself with extra time, consider having students enter a design contest.
PLTW often has links to contests and challenges in the PLTW newsletter. Events
-Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision:
-Future City:
-Siemens We Can Change the World:
-Potato Chip Challenge:
-DuPont Essay Science Competition
-Google Science Fair:
-Various NASA Contests:
Have fun with the classes!
PLTW will make you and your school look good!