PLTW thank you program May 16

Chamber Education Fund supported program implementation
By Leah Jackson


Northwestern State University’s Department of Engineering Technology and the NSU Elementary Lab School will host a program to thank the Natchitoches Chamber Education Fund for their donation to fund the Project Lead the Way Launch program at the Elementary Lab. PLTW Launch is the elementary curriculum for Project Lead the Way, a program that introduces engineering concepts to students to encourage interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas.

The program will take place at 9 a.m. Monday, May 16 on the second floor of the NSU Elementary Lab School where guests will be able to tour PLTW classrooms.

Elementary Lab science teachers Hillary Gray, third grade, and Jessie Church, fourth and fifth grade, participated in PLWT-Launch training last summer at NSU and began program in January with 44 first graders, 48 third graders, 54 fourth graders and 56 fifth graders. The Launch curriculum includes computer science for first grade, force and motion for third grade, energy collisions and conversions for fourth grade and bio-medical science and robotics for fifth grade.

“I would encourage members of the Chamber and specifically those individuals and organizations who have contributed and continue to contribute to the Education Fund to join this celebration,” said Dr. Phil Brown, PLTW coordinator. “Individuals from the Natchitoches community who see this new PLTW program will hopefully become inspired to encourage its expansion into other Natchitoches Parish elementary schools, be they public or private.”

Northwestern State is Louisiana’s affiliate university for Project Lead the Way and offers facilities, training and support to PLTW programs in place in several parishes throughout the state. More than 6,500 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW courses to their students from elementary school through high school. Currently, there are 96 PLTW programs in Louisiana. PLTW courses follow the Common Core standards, though the program is customizable. Funding opportunities are available through grants and the PLTW partnerships across the state and nation.

For more information or to register, visit or contact Brown at