Career and College Success for Elementary and Middle School Students

Career and College Success provides numerous opportunities for younger learners to begin exploring their interests and passions, and to discover how those interests and passions might someday fit into the world of work.



Career and College Success opportunities for students in grades K-8 include fun video talks with professionals about their work and workplace tours filled with hands-on activities. A focus is on the academic paths taken by professionals that have led them to their current positions.

Recent example: Students visited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where they measured how fire affects air quality and watched scientists monitor fire activity across the world. Students also learned the basics of how meteorologists read weather data and presented their own mini weather reports.

Opportunities for grades K-8

  • In PLTW Launch for grades K-5, students become hands-on problem solvers and learn to collaborate with their fellow students.
  • Engaging stories introduce the challenges students will work together to solve and they learn to become confident in trying new things, learning from mistakes and applying what they know to find solutions.
  • In PLTW Gateway for grades 6-8, students’ passion for discovery is fueled through explorations of coding and robotics, flight and space, and DNA and crime scene analysis.
  • As they engage in collaborative problem-solving focused on real-world challenges, students stretch their imaginations in brand-new ways and connect their learning to life.
  • SmartLab is an engaging program where students can explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM and media arts through project-based learning.
  • It’s a fully-integrated learning environment where everything from furniture and technology to curriculum and assessment work together to support hands-on, minds-on learning.
  • Students create remarkable projects that motivate them to inquire, explain, tackle new problems and celebrate their solutions in every lab.
  • Students explore. They problem-solve. They collaborate and create. And they learn.
  • Students in grades 6 – 10 hear live from professionals in a Chat and/or Challenge format
  • Chat: Professionals discuss their careers, their company and their industry. These fun live chats are caught on video to reach as many students as possible.
  • Challenge: Companies engage students in a real-life industry challenge, such as designing a web page for a department or developing a marketing plan for a new product. Students submit their solutions by deadline and companies select the winning student or team of students.
  • Learn about career possibilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM fields through fun, hands-on activities in professional workplaces.
  • Typically for students in grades 7 and 8 but other grades may also participate.
  • Spark workplace visits typically last two to three hours and feature hands-on activities and lively speakers to inspire students.

K-8 opportunities by school

Prefer a list view of these schools? Click here.


Are there any costs for students participating in K-8 Career and College Success opportunities?

No, Career and College Success provides support with any expenses for students and families.

What are my options if my K-8 school isn't participating in any Career and College Success opportunities?

We’re happy to work with your school to support a K-8 Career and College Success opportunity or work with a neighboring school to include your student. Email us!

Where do I get more information if my workplace wants to participate in K-8 Career and College Success opportunities?

We’re excited to hear from you! Please stop by our Partners page or send us an email and we’ll get right back to you.