PLTW Programs for K-12 Students

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a national program forming partnerships among public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector in order to encourage students to expand upon their knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

PLTW Launch (K-5)

Through PLTW Launch, our program for kindergarten through fifth grade, students become problem solvers. Students use structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and employ critical thinking. They apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind, learning that it is OK to take risks and make mistakes. As teachers and students learn and discover together, education becomes far more engaging.

For more information visit the National PLTW page.

PLTW Gateway (6-8)

Through topics like coding and robotics, flight and space, and DNA and crime scene analysis, middle school students engage their natural curiosity and imagination in creative problem solving. PLTW Gateway is a strong foundation for further STEM learning in high school and beyond, challenging students to solve real-world challenges, such as cleaning oil spills and designing sustainable housing solutions

For more information visit the National PLTW page.

PLTW Computer Science (9-12

PLTW Computer Science empowers students in grades 9-12 to become creators, instead of merely consumers, of the technology all around them. The program engages students in real-world activities like creating an online art portal and using automation to process and analyze DNA-sequence data. These projects and problems engage students in computational thinking, challenge them to think big, and help illustrate how intricately computer science is woven into our society.

  • 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 optimal starting point for the PLTW Computer Science program. Students work in teams to create apps for mobile devices using MIT App Inventor®. They explore the impact of computing in society and build skills in digital citizenship and cybersecurity. Beyond learning the fundamentals of programming, students build computational thinking skills by applying computer science to collaboration tools, modeling and simulation, and data analysis. In addition, students transfer the understanding of programming gained in App Inventor to text-based programming in Python® and apply their knowledge to create algorithms for games of chance and strategy.

  • Computer Science Principles (CSP, 1 year)

    Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. While this course can be a student's first in computer science, students without prior computing experience are encouraged to start with Introduction to Computer Science. CSP helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation.

    PLTW is recognized by the College Board as an endorsed provider of curriculum and professional development for AP® Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). This endorsement affirms that all components of PLTW CSP's offerings are aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CSP assessment. Using an endorsed provider affords schools access to resources including an AP CSP syllabus pre-approved by the College Board's AP Course Audit, and officially recognized professional development that prepares teachers to teach AP CSP.

  • Computer Science A (CSA, 1 year)

    CSA focuses on further developing computational thinking skills through the medium of Android™ App development for mobile platforms. The course utilizes industry-standard tools such as Android Studio, Java™ programming language, XML, and device emulators. Students collaborate to create original solutions to problems of their own choosing by designing and implementing user interfaces and Web-based databases. The course curriculum is a College Board-approved implementation of AP CS A.

  • Cybersecurity (SEC, 1 year)

    SEC introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in SEC, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. This course raises students' knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to develop students' skills as consumers, friends, citizens, and employees who can effectively contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely.

PLTW Engineering (9-12)

In PLTW Engineering, students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as are used in the world's top companies. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as sustainability, mechatronics, forces, structures, aerodynamics, digital electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and the environment, which gives them an opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines before beginning post-secondary education or careers.

  • Foundation Course Introduction to Engineering Design (IED, 1 year)

    Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work.

  • Foundation Course Principles of Engineering (POE, 1 year)

    Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.

  • Specialization Course Aerospace Engineering (AE, 1 year)

    This course propels students' learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight. As they explore the physics of flight, students bring the concepts to life by designing an airfoil, propulsion system, and rockets. They learn basic orbital mechanics using industry-standard software. They also explore robot systems through projects such as remotely operated vehicles.

  • Specialization Course Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA, 1 year)

    Students learn important aspects of building and site design and development. They apply math, science, and standard engineering practices to design both residential and commercial projects and document their work using 3D architecture design software.

  • Specialization Course Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM, 1 year)

    Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. While this course can be a student's first in computer science, students without prior computing experience are encouraged to start with Introduction to Computer Science. CSP helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation. The course curriculum is a College Board-approved implementation of AP CS Principles.

  • Specialization Course Computer Science Principles (CSP, 1 year)

    CSP implements the College Board's 2013 CS Principles framework. Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, robotics, and simulation.

  • Specialization Course Digital Electronics (DE, 1 year)

    From smart phones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.

  • Specialization Course Environmental Sustainability (ES, 1 year)

    In ES, students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply issues, and renewable energy. Applying their knowledge through hands-on activities and simulations, students research and design potential solutions to these true-to-life challenges.
    *Environmental Sustainability will replace Biotechnical Engineering, which PLTW will continue to support through the end of the 2016-17 school year.

  • Capstone Course Capstone Course - Engineering Design and Development (EDD, 1 year)

    The knowledge and skills students acquire throughout PLTW Engineering come together in EDD as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. Students apply the professional skills they have developed to document a design process to standards, completing EDD ready to take on any post-secondary program or career.

PLTW Biomedical Science (9-12)

The challenging and relevant four-course PLTW Biomedical Science sequence allows students to investigate the roles of biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. They examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, all while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges of today and the future.

  • Foundation Course Principles of Biomedical Science

    In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person's life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.

  • Foundation Course Human Body Systems

    Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.

  • Foundation Course Medical Interventions

    Students follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Students explore how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; evaluate cancer treatment options; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real-world cases, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics.

  • Capstone Course Biomedical Innovations

    In the final course of the PLTW Biomedical Science sequence, students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Students address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to clinical medicine and physiology. They have the opportunity to work on an independent design project with a mentor or advisor from a university, medical facility, or research institution.