Our Philosophy for Education
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.
Through our programs, students develop in-demand, transportable skills – such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication – that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. As PLTW students progress through grades K-12, they are empowered to explore career paths, engage in problem solving and process thinking, develop technical knowledge and skills, and build communication skills.
We believe teachers play an immeasurable role in empowering students, and our programs provide teachers with the support and resources they need to devote more time to inspiring students. Through PLTW professional development, teachers learn to facilitate and coach and become comfortable in these roles as their students guide their own learning.
APB: The Building Blocks of PLTW’s Curriculum
Our activity-, project-, and problem-based (APB) instructional design centers on hands-on, real-world activities, projects, and problems that help students understand how the knowledge and skills they develop in the classroom may be applied in everyday life. The APB approach scaffolds student learning through structured activities and projects that empower students to become independent in the classroom and help them build skill sets to apply to an open-ended design problem. This approach provides students with unique opportunities to work collaboratively, identify problems, apply what they know, persevere through challenges, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning.
External authorities across the U.S. have researched – and validated – PLTW’s impact.
Studies have shown:
- PLTW contributes to a strong, positive impact on mathematics and science achievement1
- PLTW has a positive influence on students’ career interest and likelihood to continue their education
- PLTW offers a pathway to prepare and motivate students to enter careers in science and engineering
- PLTW high school graduates are nearly three times as likely to major in STEM versus non-PLTW graduates2
- PLTW students in Texas scored higher on the state’s mathematics assessment and were more prepared for higher education institutions in the state3
 Tai, Robert H. (2012). An Examination of Research Literature on PLTW. University of Virginia. Publication by PLTW.
 Pike, Gary and Kirsten Robbins (2014). Using Propensity Scores to Evaluate Education Programs. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.
 Van Overschelde, James P. (Spring 2013) Project Lead The Way Students More Prepared For Higher Education. Texas State University. American Journal of Engineering Education, 4(1).
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.