• Syllabus

    Engineering Design and Development (EDD) is the capstone course in the PLTW high school engineering program. It is an engineering research course in which students work in teams to design and develop an original solution to a valid open-ended technical problem by applying the engineering design process. The course applies and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and technology.

    Utilizing the activity-project-problem-based (APPB) teaching and learning pedagogy, students will perform research to choose, validate, and justify a technical problem. After carefully defining the problem, teams of students will design, build, and test their solution. Finally, student teams will present and defend their original solution to an outside panel. While progressing through the engineering design process, students will work closely with experts and will continually hone their organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, their creative and problem solving abilities, and their understanding of the design process.

    Engineering Design and Development is a high school level course that is appropriate for 12th grade students. Since the projects on which students work can vary with student interest and the curriculum focuses on problem solving, EDD is appropriate for students who are interested in any technical career path. EDD should be taken as the final capstone PLTW course since it requires application of the knowledge and skills from the PLTW foundation courses.

    The Engineering Design and Development course of study includes:

    • The Design Process
    • Intellectual Property
    • Research
    • Problem Identification, Validation, and Justification
    • Teamwork
    • Project Management
    • Design Specifications
    • Concept Testing
    • Design Proposal
    • Virtual Solutions
    • Building a Prototype
    • Testing a Prototype
    • Test Evaluation and Refinement
    • Documentation
    • Presenting the Process and Results

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

     CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.6 Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defining the question the author seeks to address.

     CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.7 Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words

    Classroom Rules and Consequences:

    Students are expect to show respect, act responsibly, work to the best of their ability, and complete all assignments.  Students shall follow all school and classroom rules, use appropriate language, listen to and follow instructions, be on task and on time to class every day.  Students are expected to exhibit high levels of academic honesty, plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated.  Violations will be dealt with as outlined in the electronic student handbook. Food and drinks are not allowed in the classroom at any time.  Cell phones and other personal electronic devices are not allowed in class at any time. Students found using these devices during class will have them confiscated and turned in to the conduct office.

    Students may work in a prototyping lab with tools and machines to complete assignments.  Strict safety procedures will be taught and enforced.  Students choosing not to follow these procedures will be dealt with appropriate to the severity of the infraction.


    Grading scale: A  100-90%     B  89-80%     C  79-70%     D  69-60%     F  Below 60%

    Students will be graded on the following:

    Engineering Notebook, Design Projects, Presentations, Design Portfolio and Reports, Homework, Activities, Quizzes and Finals.

    Design Project and Report grading is based on published rubrics for each assignment.  The projects are intense, involved, and can require considerable time both inside and outside of the classroom.

    Typically there will not be homework, however, class work not finished in class will need to be completed at home and turned in at the beginning of class the next day.

    Breakdown of grading:

    Projects, Presentations, Portfolios, Reports, Activities, Quizzes       80%

    Finals                                                                                               20%

    There will be no extra credit work in this class. Class work is due on the due date. Late work will be reduced at a rate of 10% per day to 50% of maximum score. 

    Report Cards

    In an effort to conserve resources and harness the capacity of our electronic grade reporting program (PowerSchool) district schools will no longer print hard copies of report cards unless requested by individual parents. To request a hard copy of your student’s report card, please contact the front office at 623-376-3000.  To receive your PowerSchool login, please stop into the office with a valid photo ID.

     Power School Online Access:

    Grades and attendance may be accessed 24 hours a day online with your Power School access code.  Access codes are available in the Administration Office Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  You must provide picture ID to be issued a code. For any Mountain Ridge parent/guardian without home computer access, a computer with guest log-in capability is available in the Counseling conference room.

     Academic Assistance:

    In addition to the Academic Prep times built into our schedule each week, additional assistance/tutoring is provided on a weekly basis both by MRHS and individually by instructors. Those dates and times will be posted in the classroom and/or on my website at the start of each week.  I also encourage your student to write down my availability each week in their electronic Mountain Ridge planner so that you too are aware of my weekly availability.

     Make up and Long-Term Project Policies: 

    Excused and Unexcused Absences: Afteran excused absence, a student has one school day for each day missedto make up work/tests, regardless of the number of days absent. If many days were missed, please schedule an appointment with me to formulate a plan for the completion of make-up work. Make-up work for extended absences (over 3 days) may be requested through the Counseling Office and picked up there.  

    Class work missed as a result of an unexcused absence will result in a zero for that day. This includes quizzes, tests, labs, projects, participation points, etc. that were completed that day. 

    School supplies required: Students should come prepared every day for class with paper, pencils, pens, and a calculator, scientific style preferred.

    Daily Device Use (iPads)

    Students should come to school with their iPads charged and ready to use in each class every day.  Students may use their device independently to take notes, complete assignments, conduct research, communicate with the teacher, check grades, and other appropriate educational uses of the device.  Students should not access inappropriate content or cause disruption in this environment.

    Devices may not be used to record or take photos of other people without their consent.  Consequences for classroom disruptions and misuse of devices will follow a progressive discipline model, beginning with a phone call home and progressing to office referrals for repeated or more serious offenses. See the Student Rights and Responsibilities consequence chart in the handbook for more specific descriptions of infractions and consequences.

    Calculator Policy: Calculators may be used on h/w, tests, final exam

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  • Engineering Design and Development Detailed Outline

    Engineering Design and Development (EDD) gives students an opportunity to exercise the skills they have developed not only in their PLTW classes, but in other classes and in their personal experiences in general. Students will work in teams to solve a problem of their choosing. EDD is not focused on producing a marketable process or product, though this can and does happen using the design process. EDD is not intended to be an “invention class” or a “patent generating class” but rather a class that centers on using, documenting, and working through the engineering design process to address a problem. The end result should always be driven by the process rather than an individual or team’s skill sets, opinions, or personal preferences. As an example, students with an interest in electronics and aeronautics who apply the design process to address pilot errors may find that their results point to an ergonomic solution centered on organizing and displaying information in the cockpit rather than developing a new piece of instrumentation or a new control device. Others interested in chemistry and medicine may find that redesigning the way people enter and are processed through an emergency room may be a more effective way to address the rate of disease transmission in a hospital than designing a new chemical disinfectant. Because the focus is on the problem and using the design process, the topic choices for students are infinite.

    EDD is about the journey of seeking a well-justified original solution to a real-world problem. Some solutions will prove to have merit as a potential solution, but when tested, will prove to have little value in solving the problem. Some solution attempts will prove to cause as many new problems as they solve, and some will prove to have great merit toward solving the problem in the end. No one will know the solution outcome at the beginning of the journey, but all groups will move through the problem solving process and gain skills they will be able to implement in any profession for the rest of their lives.

    Because EDD is less structured than most other courses, students must take more responsibility in their learning than they are accustomed to or are comfortable with taking. However, more responsibility should translate to more ownership and more reward.

    This class will also be much different for you as the instructor, or more accurately, as the facilitator. It is important that, as you introduce the course, you make the students aware of the fundamental differences in the student and teacher roles between EDD and most other courses.

    Concepts (Course-Wide)

    1. The engineering design process is both a guide and a series of waypoints for effective problem solving and self-evaluation as an engineer moves through the process.

    2. Individuals and other entities put extraordinary effort into protecting their intellectual property so they can control who has access to and use of their work and to maintain rights to profit from their ideas.

    3. Procuring a patent from a government provides intellectual property protection and indicates that the idea is considered useful, novel, and nonobvious.

    4. Assessing a product’s lifecycle creates an opportunity for identifying potential improvements in the process and provides a method for evaluating the product’s degree of success.

    5. The Engineering Design Process Portfolio Rubric (EDPPSR) is a tool that that can be used to assess and/or improve the design process and outcome of a design project.

    Performance Objectives (Course-Wide)

    It is expected that students will:

    1. Justify why some discoveries are inventions and others are innovations.

    2. Conduct patent searches and judge which patents are most relevant to a given topic.

    3. Assess a product using a Product Lifecycle Assessment.

    4. Detail ecological and sustainable design attributes of a specific product.

    5. Summarize research findings in visual and verbal form.

    6. Create a solution to a problem using a design process.

    7. Create a Gantt chart for project planning purposes.

    8. Construct a working prototype.

    9. Design and implement a prototype testing procedure.

    10. Interpret test results.

    11. Create documentation to support a design process and results.

    12. Identify personal strengths that can benefit a problem solving team.

    Essential Questions (Course-Wide)

    1. Why do companies advertise the positive ecological and sustainable design attributes of products?

    2. How do you decide what key points are most important when given limited time to present findings?

    3. Why is it crucial to use a design process when trying to solve complex problems?

    4. What are advantages of successful project planning and management?

    5. Why is it important for engineers and designers to utilize known scientific and mathematical principles?

    6. What negative issues does successful project planning and management potentially prevent?

    7. Why is teaming often more effective than individuals working alone when solving a complex problem?

    8. Why is it crucial to use a design process when trying to solve complex problems?

    9. What are advantages of successful project planning and management?

    10. Why is it important for engineers and designers to utilize known scientific and mathematical principles?

    11. What negative issues does successful project planning and management potentially prevent?

    12. Why is teaming often more effective than individuals working alone when solving a complex problem?

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