Launch Partners With Project Lead The Way

A new partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) will allow Launch to offer project-based learning courses in a virtual format.
By Savannah Waszczuk

Have you heard the news? We’re partnering with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), which means we can incorporate PLTW courses and offer them in a virtual format! We will work closely with the PLTW organization to transition its distance learning curriculum used previously. This new partnership will provide opportunities for all high school students across the state of Missouri to access PLTW’s real-world, applied-learning experiences that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum, no matter their location in Missouri.

"By partnering with Launch Virtual Learning, we are providing valuable real-world learning experiences to even more students across Missouri by adapting curriculum to meet the needs of students no matter where learning takes place," says Dr. David Dimmett, PLTW President and CEO. "This is an exciting opportunity to increase access to STEM learning and reinforce the in-demand skills students need for lifelong success."

At the time of the announcement, Launch Director Dr. Nichole Lemmon said that the PLTW curriculum will be enhanced for Launch Missouri’s Workforce (LMW) courses. “Our Workforce classes were created to offer students career-focused virtual education and help them graduate college and be career ready,” Dr. Lemmon says. “By adding PLTW courses to the mix, we’re going to be able to better provide those much-needed, real-world, applied learning experiences. These PLTW courses will help solidify the Launch Missouri’s Workforce experience and better prepare students for their future careers.”

Beginning in the fall of the 2023-24 school year, Launch will offer PLTW curriculum in three LMW pathways for students in grades 9-12—Information Technology; Engineering & Manufacturing, and Health Sciences—which are part of PLTW’s Computer Science, Biomedical and Engineering pathways. The goal is to expand LMW’s course offerings to include more PLTW courses and programs in the future.

“Launch’s core principles were built upon the fact that a student’s opportunity should not be limited by their zip code,” Dr. Lemmon says. “This partnership with PLTW will continue to help us expand on that goal by providing all Missouri students access to high-quality STEM courses they would otherwise not have.” 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Launch partnering with PLTW to offer virtual STEM programs?
Launch currently serves over 3,255 full-time students throughout the state of Missouri who do not access a traditional school environment. This partnership is aimed at providing these students with high-quality STEM course offerings. 

Who is eligible to enroll in Project Lead The Way courses?
Full-time students throughout the state of Missouri who do not access a traditional school environment may enroll. 

Missouri districts or buildings that do not already offer a PLTW program may partner with Launch to offer specific PLTW courses within that program to their students. 

Will Launch PLTW classes replace existing in-person offerings?
All existing in-person PLTW courses will remain in place. The goal of this partnership is to fill gaps that exist for full-time virtual students and those districts or buildings without seated PLTW programs. 

I am a Missouri PLTW teacher currently. How can I get involved?
PLTW-credentialed teachers, we need you! Virtual course development will begin immediately, and adjunct teachers will be needed for Fall 2023. We know curriculum alone is not enough to help students reach their full potential.  Highly skilled teachers with a passion for STEM are critical to our success.  If you are a PLTW credentialed teacher in any of these pathways and would like to get involved, please contact Mary Edgerton at [email protected]  for more information.

How will this traditionally hands-on curriculum be delivered in a virtual setting?
In addition to hiring highly-qualified PLTW teachers, Launch will incorporate PLTW Distance Learning curriculum and materials to enhance the hands-on experience in the virtual classroom. 

How will students access the equipment and supplies needed for their PLTW course?
The Launch Supply Center will distribute the necessary equipment and supplies to students upon enrollment.  

Will end-of-course assessments (EOCs) be given to students?
The PLTW End-of-Course Assessment will be administered in the PLTW courses in which it is made available. Launch’s PLTW-credentialed teachers will provide virtual administration of these end-of-course exams in accordance with PLTW guidelines. 

What courses will be offered next year? 
Launch’s anticipated PLTW courses for Fall 2023 include: Computer Science Essentials (CSE); Computer Science Principles (CSP); Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) and Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS). 

What is the cost of a PLTW course for Missouri districts? 
Launch Missouri’s Workforce (LMW) provides 1,200 free tuition seats for the 2023-2024 school year. PLTW classes are considered part of the LMW suite. Should the grant be exhausted, normal tuition rates would apply.

Would you like additional information on how to enroll or get students involved?
If you would like additional information or have questions related to Launch's new PLTW courses, please contact Assistant Principal Mary Edgerton at  or 417-523-0417.