Conference Schedule and Sessions

7:15-8:00 Registration
Registration is located in the Sports and Recreation Center at WPI
8 - 9 Welcome and Keynote
Keynote Speakers are Engineers from Boston Dynamics 
We are thrilled to have two engineers from Boston Dynamics as our Keynote speakers this year. Andy and Adam are part of the team working on the Spot robot, a quiet, four-legged robot with extraordinary rough terrain mobility and super-human stability. What has helped lead them to their successes? Project based classes, like PLTW, that provided ‘messy,’ ill-defined, real world problems that taught them failure is an opportunity to learn.
9:05 - 9:55 Session List
Vex and Engineering Design for Launch Activities (Launch)

This workshop will walk participants through a Launch Vex Robotics module discovering how using the engineering notebook for each activity, project and problem reinforces student learning and reflection as they work through all steps of the design process.

 

Wait you aren’t going to use anything I taught you? (Launch)

How often do you feel like you reach the problem and your students don’t seem to be applying the knowledge they’ve been acquiring throughout the module?  During this hands-on session we will focus on how to build in checks for understanding and reflection to push students to strategically apply their knowledge to their designs.

 

From Good to Great: Explore ways to improve students’ work in App Creators and CSIM (Gateway)

In this session participants will evaluate some student work and identify, “what makes it great” or “what could make it great”. The presenter will share several tips to help students create great projects and participants may share some of their own tips and tricks.

 

Designing Is a Team Sport – Use the Engineering Design Process and Rubric to Get a Handle on Your Projects (Gateway)

Attendees will participate in a design challenge using the Engineering Design Process. As attendees participate in the design challenge they will learn how to adjust project work for diverse learners and to use rubrics to promote high quality project work. PLTW engineering teachers will be able to directly apply the work they do in the workshop to their classroom projects and activities.

 

Going from Good to Great: Strategies to fostering student success with Automation and Robotics Projects (Gateway)

Are you struggling to bring out the best in your student projects? This session will showcase good and great student projects, and provide strategies to help you guide students with confidence to succeed. Participants who plan to attend this session are encouraged (but not required) to bring in one project that they would like to transform from good to great or one they consider an exemplar. Projects may be in the form of a prototype, images, portfolio documentation, video presentation, etc.

 

Learning about Current Medical Innovations (Biomedical Science)

We live in an era of medical advances that were unimaginable just a decade ago. Learn about how the changes in identifying diseases and development of treatments that are based on a person’s distinct genetic makeup are altering the care of patients. These new life-saving, medical innovations are advancing due to passionate researchers who were fueled by their exceptional STEM education.

 

Successful Capstone Projects in High School (Biomedical Science, Engineering)

Are the capstone expectations the same at your school as other schools? This highly interactive session will spend time assessing student work examples and thinking through what high quality work looks like. You’ll explore what expectations are set up for students, and common roadblocks for project completion. Leave with steps to help scaffold your students to success.

 

From planning to reflection: Setting students up for success with projects (Computer Science)

Disappointed with the quality of your CS projects? Set students up for success with projects by breaking down the key components of the project life cycle. Come talk about strategies and see exemplars for planning, execution, presentation, and reflection.

 

Pair Programming – Sharing the Code (General Interest)

Students who engage in pair programming come away with a rich experience, having been both the Driver and Navigator for solving the problems at hand. This session will provide guidance on how to create and use a pair programming environment in your class. This method is applicable to all levels of programming – and is not limited to only CS courses. It applies to any class that uses programming!

 

Showcase (General Interest)

Make sure to check out the Showcase area to experience several Project Lead The Way activities in a one-on-one environment. Example projects will be shared along with opportunities to interact with PLTW students. Other resources, such as an Educator Portal and a PLTW pop-up booth to get some SWAG will be available as well.

 

PLTW Student Panel (Prospective Schools)

Join us for a discussion with a former middle and current high school PLTW students, along with a recent graduate of the PLTW program, who will be sharing their experiences in their PLTW classes. Learn what has engaged and excited them and have the opportunity to ask them questions.

9:05 - 10:50 Double Block Sessions
IBM Design Thinking Learning Session (General Interest)

Join IBM professionals to learn how to design with the end user in mind. Participants will engage in the process that IBM teams use to generate innovative ideas. Educators will learn new and effective ways to improve students creative problem solving by helping them design with empathy.

 

Don’t Lose Your Marbles. Breaking down POE’s Marble Sorter Project (Engineering)

Having students build the marble sorter in POE can be an overwhelming undertaking. This session will focus on breaking down the activity into more manageable pieces to allow you and your students to focus independently on theory, construction, and programming. Alongside learnings from the classroom, this session will also include relevant insights and examples from industry by MITRE engineers.

 

Automata Engineering (Engineering)

Come and join IED Master Teacher, Corey Duzan, and learn the ins and outs of the PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design Automata project. This engaging session will investigate the challenges and provide solutions for assembling a better Automata project in both physical and virtual environments so that students can succeed faster with a better quality product. It is highly recommended that you bring a laptop with Autodesk Inventor installed on it for this session.

9:05 - 11:50 Special Session for Current PLTW Adminstrators
Special Admin Session (Administrators)

Special dedicated session for current PLTW school and district leaders. This morning session, designed specifically for leaders, will provide inportant updates for leaders about the programming available for students and teachers throughout the year, emerging findings from our researcher who is conducting a 6-year longitudinal study on the PLTW work in MA, and an opportunity to connect with other PLTW leaders to share best practices and network. Current PLTW leaders shouldn’t miss this session!

10 - 10:50 Session List
Authentic Industry Feedback – not just submitting student work for a grade, elementary edition (Launch)

Come hear from Zoo New England & Puma professionals and teachers who participated in last year’s elementary school student showcases and online challenges to learn about the the events and their feedback on student projects. Learn how your students can connect with industry this year and pick up some tips and tricks from professionals that can help your students with their projects. Note: there will be student work and industry feedback in the session for attendees to review.

 

Launch Pacing: 15 hours….it’s the Sweet Spot (Launch)

How long does it truly require to teach the modules? Collaboratively work with grade level colleagues to create a pacing timeline for the APB approach to best meet the instructional needs of students. Skeleton timelines will be provided for two modules per grade level then grade level cohorts can work together to build timelines for the additional grade level modules.

 

Authentic Industry Feedback – not just submitting student work for a grade, middle school edition (Gateway)

Come hear from Boston Children’s Hospital & Peabody Essex Museum professionals and teachers who participated in last year’s middle school student showcases and online challenges to learn about the the events and their feedback on student projects. Learn how your students can connect with industry this year and pick up some tips and tricks from professionals that can help your students with their projects. Note: there will be student work and industry feedback in the session for attendees to review.

 

Pacing: The Balance Between Coverage and Retention (Gateway)

This session will help you to explore how you know when to speed up and when you need to slow down while making sure you hit the essential content for your Gateway course. We will also have a small breakout groups, where you can share some of these ideas with other teachers from the same courses.

 

SketchUp SOS (Gateway)

Did you take Design and Modeling training and still don’t feel comfortable with SketchUp 2017? Come by and get a refresher of the software, before you roll it out at school! (Please bring a laptop with SketchUp 2017 preloaded on it, since we will be using it for the session)

 

Isn’t peer editing just checking grammar? (Biomedical Science)

I struggle with getting my students to do meaningful peer feedback. We will work together to share out killer strategies and other ways to help our students help each other. In other words, make the students work harder than us.

 

Slow down to speed up: Effective pacing in the computer science classroom (Computer Science)

Pacing in the computer science classroom can be a bit of a challenge. Some students feel like the class is moving too fast while others are bored with how slow it’s moving. Come discuss strategies around effective pacing so that all students can stay engaged.

 

Molecule in motion: Establishing effective team dynamics for student success at the middle school level (General Interest)

This session will quickly outline the factors to create whole-class victories while shifting the mindset of teacher and student from content driven to engagement of all students for enriched team building environments. Teachers will be provided with classroom strategies to guide students through predictive analysis and develop self-reliance to guide student projects from good to great. Teacher will further understand the process of building a strong classroom culture to incorporate PLTW tools with confidence and knowledge.

 

PLTW Teacher Marketing/Social Media Tool Kit (General Interest)

Are you looking for ideas and materials to assist in getting the word out about the great things that are happening in your PLTW classrooms? Looking for resources and tools? Join us to learn from an experienced marketing professional about how to use social media and other marketing to get attention and support for your students!

 

Showcase (General Interest)

Make sure to check out the Showcase area to experience several Project Lead The Way activities in a one-on-one environment. Example projects will be shared along with opportunities to interact with PLTW students. Other resources, such as an Educator Portal and a PLTW pop-up booth to get some SWAG will be available as well.

 

PLTW 101: Our Story, Our Mission, Our Model (Prospective Schools)

First Time to the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Conference? Join us for a high level overview of our hands on PreK-12 programs, learn how you can partner with PLTW to support your students and teachers in this rapidly changing world. We will provide a glimpse of what we offer for both teacher and student learning opportunities with this relevant, authentic STEM curriculum. There will be time to welcome your questions and provide you with resources to take back to school.

11 - 11:50 Session List
A Deep Dive into APB Launch Learning (Launch)

This session will take a hands-on, deeper dive into Activity-, Project-, Problem-Based (APB) instruction. During the session teachers will map the elements of the APB approach using a PLTW Launch curricular example. Educators who use APB regularly create instructional experiences that scaffold knowledge, provide opportunities for students to transfer knowledge, and engage students as they apply their new learning to a relevant problem.

 

Decision Making: Guiding Student Discussions (Launch)

PLTW embeds the decision matrix as a tool to help students collaboratively make group decisions.  We will dig deeper into how to utilize the decision matrix with students as well as delve into other strategies and tools that can be utilized to help facilitate positive, productive student group decision making.

 

Moving Students Past Trial & Error with the Design Process (Gateway)

Trial and error – the bane of teaching engineering classes and supply tables. In this session, we will explain and demonstrate strategies to tap into students’ background knowledge before the glue guns come out.

 

Integrating “Science of Technology” into a middle school classroom (Gateway)

Many activities, projects and problems in “Science of Technology” fit perfectly under the 2016 MA-STE standards. By combining the technology/engineering focus of PLTW with the content/skills focus of the MA-STE standards, we will enhance the overall experience for our students. In this session, we will look at some ways we can do that and share ideas with each other.

 

Smells Like Tween Spirit: Engage the Unengaged Middle Schooler (Gateway)

Do you often feel like Charlie Brown’s teacher, your students only hearing your “wah wah” teacher talk? Explore strategies and activities to engage middle school students in Computer Science and incorporate empathy, perseverance and fun.

 

Biomedical Career Panel (Biomedical Science)

Join an interactive panel discussion of biomedical professionals moderated by a Biomed student and teachers. The panel provides an opportunity for participants to interact with people currently practicing in the field. Learn about career options, ask questions about their work, and leave with ideas and information to take back and share with your students.

 

High School CS Updates (Computer Science)

Learn about the upcoming changes to the high school Computer Science pathway and the rationale behind the updates. The workshop will also include a detailed roadmap with information on update training and equipment and supply changes. The session will conclude with time for questions from the audience.

 

Predictive analysis in the classroom – it’s better than Trial and Error (Engineering)

Predictive analytics uses historical data to inform and predict future events. In this session you will be introduced to the topic and will then engage in a hands-on activity which demonstrates how you can use predictive methods in the classroom.

 

Engineering Career Panel (Engineering)

Join an interactive panel of engineering professionals for the chance to interact with people currently practicing in the field. Learn about career options, ask questions about their work, and leave with ideas and information to take back and share with your students.

 

Research Briefing – Year One & Two Findings from the 6-year Study of PLTW in MA (General Interest)

Join John Papay, a professor at Brown University who is leading a six year longitudinal study of the PLTW efforts in MA, for a discussion of the updated year 1 findings and an initial look at the year 2 findings. Come learn what students and teachers are saying about the work and what is driving an impact for students. Participants will also be able to ask questions and offer ideas for further study.

 

Competitive VEX Robotics: Exciting Engineering Challenges Presented in the Form of a Game (General Interest)

Take your VEX materials beyond the classroom! With more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries playing in 1,700 competitions worldwide, come learn how the VEX Robotics Competition can engage your students with materials you already have on hand.

 

Showcase (General Interest)

Make sure to check out the Showcase area to experience several Project Lead The Way activities in a one-on-one environment. Example projects will be shared along with opportunities to interact with PLTW students. Other resources, such as an Educator Portal and a PLTW pop-up booth to get some SWAG will be available as well.

12 - 12:50 Luncheon and Awards Celebration
Lunch and Awards

Join us in our lunch celebration ceremony! Schools and individuals who have done outstanding PLTW work will be recognized.

1 - 1:50 Session List
Launch Networking (Launch)

Say hello to your Launch colleagues from around the state! Attend this open Launch specific program to meet and network with other teachers who teach the same curriculum. Get your questions answered and leave with some new techniques and tips!

 

Gateway Networking (Gateway)

Say hello to your Gateway colleagues from around the state! Attend this open Gateway specific program to meet and network with other teachers who teach the same curriculum. Get your questions answered and leave with some new techniques and tips!

 

Biomedical Science Networking (Biomedical Science)

Say hello to your HS Biomedical Science colleagues from around the state! Attend this open Biomedical Science specific program to meet and network with other teachers who teach the same curriculum. Get your questions answered and leave with some new techniques and tips!

 

Computer Science Networking (Computer Science)

Say hello to your HS Computer Science colleagues from around the state! Attend this open Computer Science specific program to meet and network with other teachers who teach the same curriculum. Get your questions answered and leave with some new techniques and tips!

 

Engineering Networking (Engineering)

Say hello to your HS Engineering colleagues from around the state! Attend this open Engineering specific program to meet and network with other teachers who teach the same curriculum. Get your questions answered and leave with some new techniques and tips!

 

An Introduction to APB Learning: Engaging Students in Powerful Learning (Prospective Schools)

The Activity-, Project-, Problem-Based (APB) instructional approach offers an incredibly powerful tool for engaged student learning. Educators who use APB regularly create instructional experiences that scaffold knowledge, provide opportunities for students to transfer knowledge, and engage students as they apply their new learning to a relevant problem. The purpose of this session is to introduce the APB approach that is used in all PLTW curriculum.

2 - 2:50 Session List
Keeping the Flow: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Launch Classroom (Launch)

Teachers will learn ideas about how to promote effective group work and organize their classroom in order to get the most out of every launch lesson. We will share ideas and rituals that you will be able to implement the next time you teach a launch lesson.

 

Expansion of PLTW Launch (Launch)

PLTW is adding more Launch modules to provide full coverage of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This session will provided details on the new modules that will be released for the 2020-21 school year as well as detailed information on how the new and existing modules align to the standards.

 

Moving Students Past Trial & Error with the Design Process (Gateway)

Trial and error – the bane of teaching engineering classes and supply tables. In this session, we will explain and demonstrate strategies to tap into students’ background knowledge before the glue guns come out.

 

Decision Matrix to the Rescue (Gateway)

The decision matrix is a powerful tool to aid in the design process. This session will review different applications of the decision matrix in relations to PLTW design challenges.

 

Turn Cooperation into Collaboration (Biomedical Science, Computer Science, Engineering)

Does one student do all the work? Are students just dividing tasks? This session will discuss strategies to turn group work into true team work with authentic feedback and accountability.

 

3 tips for New CSE Teachers! (Computer Science)

The Do’s and Do Not’s of teaching Computer Science Essentials. Brainstorm ways to scaffold the material and discover other resources to aid teaching.

 

Create Your Own Reality; Integrating Web VR into Computer Science (Computer Science)

Introducing A-Frame Curriculum with the PLTW Computer Science Pathway. This can be used as extended projects onto the current curriculum integrating web virtual reality. Participants will be walked through a breakdown of the curriculum and then will be able to work with it hands on through a variety of projects. Participants must bring their own laptop to the session.

 

Authentic Industry Feedback – not just submitting student work for a grade, high school edition (Engineering)

Come hear from Autodesk, Symantec, and BSC Group professionals and teachers who participated in last year’s high school student showcases and online challenges to learn about the the events and their feedback on student projects. Learn how your students can connect with industry this year and pick up some tips and tricks from professionals that can help your students with their projects. Note: there will be student work and industry feedback in the session for attendees to review.

 

Improve Student Performance using the Engineering Design Process in the POE Fuel Cell Car Activity (Engineering)

The Engineering Design Process is at the heart of the predictive engineering analysis (PEA). PEA is a development approach for the manufacturing industry that helps with the design of complex products. Teachers will work through activity design enhancements which include using EDP/PEA and students’ knowledge of mechanisms to develop drive trains for the Solar-Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Activity.

 

Preparing Students for Successful Presentations (General Interest)

Come and learn the techniques that teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels use to get students prepared to present their project work. These techniques result in students who present in thoughtful ways that really show they know what they did, why they did it, and how they knew they were successful.

 

Tallo: Getting STEM Students Connected (General Interest)

Tallo is an online platform that connects the next generation of talent with colleges, companies, and organizations. Students (13+) can build free virtual profiles to showcase their skills and talents and discover opportunities. They can share their profile externally, match up with over $20 billion in scholarships, earn digital badges, and connect with colleges and corporations. Find out how students can join and how organizations and schools can use Tallo to manage scholarships and events, create digital badges, and connect directly with students.

 

Grant Opportunities (Prospective Schools)

Come learn about the Massachusetts PLTW grant opportunity for all public schools K-12 in the state. The session will review the details of the grant program including the application requirements, timeline, and advice on what makes for a compelling application! Please note: the session is intended for prospective schools that are looking to add adopt a PLTW program for the first time. Grants are also available for current PLTW schools to add or expand programming.