4 Elementary students collaborating on their assignment.


Michael White
Weaver Lake Elementary: A Science, Math & Technology School
PLTW Launch Program
(763) 420-3337

More than 20 Teachers were credentialed to teach Launch at Weaver Lake Elementary.


PLTW Launch

Course Description:

Building a Strong Foundation for Middle School, High School and Beyond

Each PLTW Launch module engages students in cross-disciplinary activities that spark a lifelong love of learning and build knowledge and skills in areas including computer science, engineering and biomedical science. In addition, each module empowers students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration and perseverance. 

Aligned to Kindergarten Standards

Structure and Function: Exploring Design

Students discover the design process; identify products around them designed by engineers; and use what they’ve learned to design their own paintbrushes.

Pushes and Pulls

Students investigate different pushes and pulls and apply what they know to a swing set-installation project.

Structure and Function: Human Body

Students explore the relationship between structure and function in the human body and design a cast.

Animals and Algorithms

Students explore the ways people control and use technology, as well as program their own digital animations.

Aligned to First Grade Standards

Light and Sound

Students investigate light and sound and design a tool to communicate over a distance.

Light: Observing the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Students build upon their knowledge of light and design a playground structure that protects students from UV radiation.

Animal Adaptions

Students learn about animal adaptations and apply what they’ve learned to design a shoe made for desert exploration.

Animated Storytelling

Students build computational-thinking skills by creating animations based on their own short stories. 

Aligned to Second Grade Standards

Materials Science: Properties of Matter

Students explore materials science and devise a way to keep popsicles cold—without a cooler.

Materials Science: Form and Function

Students research the variety of ways animals disperse seeds and pollinate plants and use what they know to design a gardening device.

The Changing Earth

Students explore how the surface of the Earth is always changing and design solutions for a fictional community threatened by a landslide.

Grids and Game

Students learn about the sequence and structure required in computer programs and work in teams to build tablet games.

Aligned to Third Grade Standards

Stability and Motion: Science of Flight

Students learn about the forces involved in flight and design a solution to deliver aid supplies via an aircraft.

Stability and Motion: Forces and Interactions

Students explore simple machines such as wheel and axles, levers, the inclined plane and more, and then use what they know to rescue a trapped zoo animal.

Variation of Traits

Students investigate the differences between inherited genetic traits and traits that are learned or influenced by the environment and then model how the gene for a plant’s stem color is passed on.

Programming Patterns

Students discover the power of modularity and abstraction and then use what they know to create a video game for a tablet.

Aligned to Fourth Grade Standards

Energy: Collisions

Students investigate how mechanisms change energy by transferring direction, speed, type of movement, and force, and then use what they know to design a car safety belt.

Energy: Conversion

Students learn how energy can be converted to meet a human need or want and then develop solutions to move donated food from a truck to a food pantry.

Input/Output: Computer Systems

Students explore how computers work and create a reaction-time computer program to assess a baseline before a concussion occurs.

Input/Output: Human Brain

Students learn about stimuli and responses and then use what they know to create a video to teach children about concussions.

Aligned to Fifth Grade Standards

Robotics and Automation

Students explore the ways robots are used in today’s world and then design a mobile robot that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site.

Robotics and Automation: Challenge

Students explore mechanical design and computer programming and design an automatic-guided vehicle to deliver supplies in a hospital.

Infection: Detection

Students explore the transmission of infection and run an experiment to help find ways to prevent the spread of illness.

Infection: Modeling and Simulation

Students investigate models and simulations and apply their knowledge to program a model that simulates the spread of infections.