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PLTW Engineerin – curriculum

In PLTW Engineering, students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as are used in the world’s top companies. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as sustainability, mechatronics, forces, structures, aerodynamics, digital electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and the environment, which gives them an opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines before beginning post-secondary education or careers.

Schools offer a minimum of three courses by the end of the third year of implementation: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and any specialization course or the capstone course.

Foundation Courses

Introduction to Engineering Design (IED, 1 year)

Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work.

Principles of Engineering (POE, 1 year)

Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.

Specialization Courses

Aerospace Engineering (AE, 1 year)

This course propels students’ learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight. As they explore the physics of flight, students bring the concepts to life by designing an airfoil, propulsion system, and rockets. They learn basic orbital mechanics using industry-standard software. They also explore robot systems through projects such as remotely operated vehicles.

Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA, 1 year)

Students learn important aspects of building and site design and development. They apply math, science, and standard engineering practices to design both residential and commercial projects and document their work using 3D architecture design software.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM, 1 year)

Manufactured items are part of everyday life, yet most students have not been introduced to the high-tech, innovative nature of modern manufacturing. This course illuminates the opportunities related to understanding manufacturing. At the same time, it teaches students about manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation. Students can earn a virtual manufacturing badge recognized by the National Manufacturing Badge system.

Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE, 1 year)

Open doors in any career with computer science! In CSE, students create apps for mobile devices, automate tasks in a variety of languages, and find patterns in data. Students collaborate to create and present solutions that can improve people’s lives, and weigh the ethical and societal issues of how computing and connectivity are changing the world. This course aligns with the AP Computer Science Principles course.

*CSE is also the first course in PLTW’s Computer Science program. Students will be able to count CSE as both the third course of PLTW Engineering and the first course of PLTW Computer Science if they decide to pursue and complete two programs of study. Learn more about the PLTW Computer Science program.

Digital Electronics (DE, 1 year)

From smart phones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.

Environmental Sustainability (ES, 1 year)

In ES, students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply issues, and renewable energy. Applying their knowledge through hands-on activities and simulations, students research and design potential solutions to these true-to-life challenges.

Environmental Sustainability will replace Biotechnical Engineering, which PLTW will continue to support through the end of the 2016-17 school year.

Capstone Course – Engineering Design and Development (EDD, 1 year)

The knowledge and skills students acquire throughout PLTW Engineering come together in EDD as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. Students apply the professional skills they have developed to document a design process to standards, completing EDD ready to take on any post-secondary program or career.