Launch Your STLP

Welcome to STLP 101…

STLP can be a resource for your school and community. Utilizing new, emerging and student invented technology to demonstrate learning happens in classrooms everyday across Kentucky.

STLP provides a platform for students to show what they know, how they learned it, and how they’re using their skills to become leaders. We’re glad you’re here…let’s launch this opportunity!

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Get Started Today: 3 First Steps


Get Recognized

How to Get Recognized

The easiest first step into STLP is to submit your school’s info and become a “Recognized” STLP. Get started and put your STLP on the map! Being “Recognized” means you’ll have access to STLP Coordinator resources and communications.

Get Recognized Now


Get Connected

How to Get Connected

STLP has so much to offer; so, staying informed and part of the conversation is crucial for a successful STLP. A terrific collaborative tool (and free to join), the KYSTLP Listserv is a buslting hub for STLP info and interactive discussions.

Get Connected Now


Explore STLP

Explore STLP's Website

The STLP website is rich with info about starting, expanding and maximizing your STLP. Links to sample student products, access to rubrics, resources usable in your classroom & ideas from the Level Up badge program …all at your fingertips!

Start Exploring Now

STLP Rocks!

Spark student creativity

What is STLP About?

The Kentucky Department of Education’s Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) uses project-based learning principles to empower student learning and achievement through the utilization (and creation) of technology based solutions to school and community needs.

Student create projects, products or services to meet those needs and then demonstrate their process and learning via various STLP categories.  Categories range from instructional, technical or community service based projects to digital content creation (digital art, photography, design, programming, app development, robotics, etc.)  to technical services (student help desk, network engineering, wireless deployments, etc.).  The best projects, products and services are invited to compete at the STLP State Championship each spring — and event which drew 10,000+ participants at #STLP16.

STLP taps into the students’ interest and challenges/motivates them to explore new ways of learning and helping their school/community.  State sponsored events highlight the creative, logical, and often entrepreneurial, talents of students across the state.  In short, STLP provides a means for students to design, make, collaborate and learn through the general medium of technology and provides a platform for those 21st century college and career skills to be demonstrated.

STLP is open to all students, K-12, across Kentucky.

Who Should Be In STLP?

Using tech? Leader? That’s STLP!

  • STLP is for ALL interested students.
  • Your STLP should reflect your school’s population.
  • Use a variety of on-going approaches to recruit…or declare your entire school to be STLP!
  • Try to include students who are “naturals” with technology, but make sure all students get a chance to participate sometime during the school year.
  • There’s something for every student, at every level, in STLP.

The 6 Goals of STLP

STLP Goals Image

Accomplishing the STLP Goals

Click title for more info.

6 Levels of STLP Involvement

Students have many opportunities to be involved with STLP. These levels of involvement help the STLP schools reach higher levels of learning and collaboration.

Probably the most important level of STLP — certainly, the Classroom Level is the foundation for STLP. Here is where student relationships, project planning, product design, and services are developed. Without students, there is no STLP!
Schools decide what projects, products and services the group will offer the school and community. These day-to- day, week-to-week activities/projects allow students to gain technology and leadership skills.
Many districts plan for events that bring all schools together. These events may be a district showcase, STLP awards or a learning camp. The district showcase of student technology skills allows parents and community persons to witness the empowered and talented students.

Some districts have a district team of students, which are students representing each school in the district. The district level STLP group helps plan and advise district STLP events or may carry out district projects.  These students may be part of a district help desk, as well.

Some STLP present at the school board to share what they are doing in STLP.

Local universities plan events that are unique to the college.  These events held on a campus allow students a chance to witness college life and plan for future post-secondary education. Students come to the event to compete in two categories: showcase projects and engineers.

University partners for past events: Murray State, Western, Eastern, UL, UK, Morehead, Hazard Community College, Northern Kentucky and Georgetown.

In some areas of the state, Regionals are help at a center or convention center, due to large numbers participating, or sponsorships of the event.

Schools across Kentucky are invited to participate in the annual STLP State Championship. The best projects, products and performance categories are competing to be selected as the Best in State. Guest speakers, the technology playground and the annual awards program are highlights of this event.

Some schools might attend and/or present at a state conference and represent STLP.

Invited STLP Engineers will provide tech support to endorsed STLP events.

Showcase projects, which are selected as the Best in State, may be invited to present at the student showcase at ISTE in 2017. The schools would be representing Kentucky on the national level.  (More info about ISTE: )

Engineers may also be invited to ISTE 2017.

Some schools might attend and/or present at a national conference and represent STLP.

Getting Your STLP  Started

Getting Started FAQs

When a new STLP — or a new STLP Coordinator — are getting started, there can be many questions. The following topics will help answer some of the most frequently asked questions about starting STLP.

  • Schools empower students to learn and use technology to achieve.
  • Schools appoint an STLP Coordinator(s) to support and guide the students as they create projects, products or provide services to the school and community.
  • STLP Coordinators act as the primary point of contact between KDE’s STLP Program Manager and the school.
  • STLP Coordinators facility the completion of registration forms within deadlines.
  • STLP Coordination can be a shared responsibility, but generally one person should remain the primary point of contact.
  • STLP Coordinators encourage students throughout the school to participate in STLP
  • The projects can be carried out before, during or after school. Schools may integrate STLP projects into the school coursework. The Coordinator may be asked questions as integration ideas by other teachers.
  • Library Media Specialist (LMS) and school and district Technology Integration Specialist (TIS) usually help support the program…so Coordinators are not alone!
  • STLP Coordinators may participate in training and annual events.
  • STLP Coordinators are responsible for submitting STLP Get Recognized info annually.
  • Students’ technological skills increase impacting post-secondary choices.
  • STLP allows students to come together, share, learn and achieve.
  • STLP is project driven. Projects should be selected by need and interest.
  • Students and teachers learn from other performing students.
  • The school gains recognition with an active program.
  • Students gain team building, communication, digital citizenship and leadership skills.
  • Projects reflect: community service, entrepreneurial and instructional projects, training others, and assisting with technical issues in the school.
  • Students participate in student involvement categories; produce products based upon interest and skill.
  • Parents and the community are active partners.
  • There is no cost to register your school to be state-recognized.
  • STLP is open to all students. STLP can be before, during or after school.
  • Restricting membership is not part of an active recruitment and retention process.
  • Registration to Get Recognized is open year round.
Recruitment of students allows for the program to grow and be diverse. Diversity helps strengthen the program. Below are ways to recruit:

  • Announcements first weeks of school
  • Be flexible with student schedules
  • Continuously sign up students (open enrollment)
  • Dance sponsored by STLP
  • Everyone has a chance…Everyone is included
  • Flyers around building
  • Grade level talks
  • Help in classrooms
  • Interest levels shape the program
  • Join Lego, robotics, programming, RCX or other related contests
  • Kid-vine (let the kids tell the kids)
  • Level Up and use gamification concepts to engage students
  • Multi ways to meet
  • Newspapers and posters
  • Organize program early in year to capture students
  • Parent recommendations
  • Question students about their vision for STLP
  • Recycle old devices
  • Social Media – engage parents, community, students online
  • Teacher recommendations and advisor/advisee groups
  • Uniform T-shirts
  • Very pretty certificates and logo lapel pins
  • Web links to invite students
  • Xtra attention, nametags, duties
  • Yearly awards and rewards
  • Zero in on technology literacies
What a great problem to have! Imagine having students so interested and engaged in a learning activity that they flock to STLP in drives! Happens more often than you think…

STLP is for all that show an interest. STLP coordinators will need to work with principals, TISs, parents, other staff, and community persons to help each group (projects, product, service) have guidance from an adult. Other older students can also help lead the younger students, as well.

Not all students need to meet as a large group, since STLP is not structured like a club with defined meetings, but rather structured to accomplish goals of STLP. Cluster the students into groups based upon the work they do.

The STLP Coordinators will need support from the school district when more than 50 students want to be part of the program. No interested student should be turned away.  Coordinators could help those students find and develop a meaningful projects, products or services to accomplish.

Marketing the STLP program helps the school gain recognition, support of the community and strengthens the program.  Here are the A-B-C’s of marketing STLP:

  • Assembly presentations
  • Board meetings
  • Community involvement
  • District news/webpage/social media
  • Educational showcase for incoming students
  • Featured newspaper and local media stories
  • Go for the Gold Status
  • Help in classrooms; form an STLP Student Help Desk
  • Inside Kentucky Schools KET show featuring STLP
  • Join anytime
  • Kentucky STLP State Championship
  • Lunchtime PowerPoint
  • Make posters, videos
  • News cast credits
  • Open enrollment
  • Presentations to classmates
  • Queue teachers needs
  • Radio station announcements or podcasts
  • School announcements and signage
  • Trainers in the school
  • Unite to Read Project
  • Visuals of past projects and events on display
  • Web Page
  • Xtra announcements
  • Yearly awards
  • Zoom in on projects, products and services
  • Most STLP schools have more than one adult helping to support the students’ projects, products and services. Many parents and community persons support STLP.
  • STLP Coordinator vs. STLP Coach:
    • The STLP Coordinator will be the primary point of contact for State STLP events and communications.  STLP Coordinators frequently are those who complete online registrations, communicate with transportation departments, collect permissions slips, etc.
    • An STLP Coach can be anyone who helps facilitate students to participate in STLP activities.  In many instances, the STLP Coordinator also functions as the STLP Coach.  This is intended to help open up STLP opportunities to as many students and classrooms as possible.
    • When multiple teachers are utilizing STLP in the classroom, each one is considered an STLP Coach.
  • Some districts offer stipends to STLP Coordinators.
  • Gain the endorsement of the Principal, Superintendent, and District Technology Coordinator (DTC)/Chief Information Officer (CIO).
  • STLP Coaches and Coordinators will benefit from obtaining help from district Educational Technology support staff, such as TRTs, TIS’, or Digital Learning Coaches.
  • Let people know your STLP exists and is active.
  • Communicate to parents and the community.
  • Market the program. Create your own STLP school brand.
  • Use social media, web pages, newsletters, news broadcasts, and other student products to get the word out about STLP at your school.
  • Be sure to submit your school info to have your STLP part of the Get Recognized program at the start of each year.

Data shows these students benefit:

  • Students new to the school,
  • Students not doing well in class,
  • Students who do not have a computer at home,
  • Students with special needs,
  • Students who speak another language,
  • and students who rarely receive a teacher’s positive attention.

STLP: Integration vs. After School


According to the Kentucky Technology Readiness Report, 73% of STLP schools integrate STLP activity into classroom curriculum as part of everyday learning. Only 27% report their STLP as an exclusively after/before school club.

Make. Connections.

Interact. Learn.

STLP is Projects, Products, and Services

STLP is projects, products, and services. STLP’s foundation is student created projects, products and services. Projects are presented at Regional Qualifiers (see Dates) with the hope of being invited to State Championship.  Here are some basics concepts regarding STLP Projects to help guide development with your students:

Schools design projects to accomplish the Mission and 6 Goals

Projects can be short or long term. Some projects may continue year after year.
At times, projects can morph into a service. The school’s project is so constant and expected that it becomes a service to the school over time.
The project supports the school and community in the use of technology, helps others learn with the use of technology or solves local or global issues.
Projects developed by the STLP members will be stronger when projects are:

    • Related to a need in the building and/or community
    • Carried out by the students over time with adult guidance
    • Engaging and challenging to students
    • Centered around critical thinking and problem solving
    • Student interest or emerging technology topics
    • Reinforced by school and the community and are part of the school culture
    • Centered around the STLP Mission and Goals
    • Demonstrated by students and allow for tech standards to grow
    • Partnered across grades, schools, communities (local, state, national and global)

For more specific information about Projects and presenting them at Regionals, click HERE.

STLP is projects, products, and services.  STLP students regularly create professional products for the classroom, school and community…often as part of regular instruction.

Products must be entirely original and created by the student. The best products are ones that are used for STLP projects and services, the classroom for learning, or in the community.

Some products are a result of an authentic task and have strong purpose and audience.

Products may be utilize a “flipped” learning scenario, where products are created after school or at home.  However, it is important for the STLP Coordinator to work with the student, teacher and parent to verify the originality of the work.

Product are generally digital in nature and are separated into categories for the purposes of judging.  Entering your product in the correct category is supremely important.  Check the category to determine if the product is an individuals or teams production.

Local teachers and community persons may guide the student in learning about creating products.

STLP Products can be submitted for online judging in January each year.  Selected products will move on to compete at the STLP State Championship.

STLP is projects, products, and services.  Many services develop due to student skill sets developing to routinely offer assistance in a particular area. The service may result from needs in the building or district.

Some services develop from a project that mushrooms into a service the school will provide.

Some projects and products are so frequent and popular they become a service the STLP School provides to others.

Often times the service is free of charge. Sometimes the service can develop into a service that can generate funds for the STLP School.

Students that have skills in newscast communications, speaking and writing often excel in the service categories.


STLP Engineers: The Epitome of Service

STLP Engineers gather technical knowledge with hands-on activities and self-study. Experience could also come from being a member of the school or district help desk, taking technical classes, or working in tech after school. Engineers sometimes gain vendor certifications offered in high schools across Kentucky.

STLP: Leveraging PBL since ’94

Project Based Learning at it’s Best

Discuss the STLP Mission and Goals. Talk about the structure of your STLP. Structure is centered on the 6 levels of participation, a schedule of when and how your STLP meets, and the goals the group wants to accomplish. There is no oneway to structure. Make the structure fit your school and its needs.

When planning projects, products and services, consider the technology standards for students and teachers, the school’s consolidated improvement plan, the needs and interests of the students and community. Student-designed projects, products and services drive STLP and impact learning and the school and community.

Start Making Decisions

  • Decide at what levels to be involved. (Local, District, Regional, and/or State levels)
  • Decide what STLP categories students will excel and compete in during the year.
  • Decide what events (Regional or State) your STLP will attend.
  • Decide which students will participate in which of the three out of school of events: Regional Qualifiers, Digital Product Online judging (referred to as DPOJ) and/or State Championship.


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