Principles of Engineering

This STEM course makes a contribution to the curriculum by providing opportunities for students and teachers to link content together and apply it to solve problems. More and more jobs demand advanced skills, requiring that people be able to learn, reason, think creatively, make decisions, and solve problems. An understanding of science, technology, engineering and math and their methods contribute in an essential way to these skills. Principles of Engineering is a team based advanced course designed for most students.  The Principles of Engineering courses intention and purpose is to educate students in a “main line” method providing STEM education for everyone. While providing a STEM based education for all students, those interested in becoming practicing engineers clearly benefit from this course content.

139-236 Clock Hours Total
AVG: 188 Clock Hours

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Individual Units in this Course:

Gantt and Flow Charts

The precision required to execute elements of an Engineered solution takes excellent planning. Gantt and Flow Charts allow students to make such plans and stay on target.

Time: 1-2 Hours

No Supplies Required

Kick out the Ladder

Honda has a saying, wait until someone gets half-way up the ladder, then kick it out from underneath them.  Why?  To get them to think differently.  We suggest this unit as you start your new semester, try something different.

  • Kick out the ladder Questions

1 Hour

No Supplies Required

Mini Industry Design Challenge

It is one thing to believe you can innovate in order to change or disrupt, it is quite another to do it.  How about defend it in front of other fellow innovators, maybe even a professional or two?  This assignment is just that, to put those skills learned in the first few weeks to the test and give far more experience than any ordinary assignment.  The industry and the challenge.

  • Mini Industry Design Challenge Assignment
  • Team Report Card Assignment
  • Team Report Card Sample URL
  • Individual Brainstorm #1 Assignment
  • Individual Brainstorm #2 Assignment
  • Small Group Brainstorm #1 Assignment
  • Group Report Submission Assignment

5-10 Hours

No Supplies Required

Mechanisms 2.0

The Honda Video the Cog, shows you the way.   Making a complex machine to do a simple task seems like overkill until you really start to have fun doing it.  How many steps will it take to power a self opening can opener?  How ridiculous can a Self-Scrubbing Bath Brush be?  The best part? Presenting all the solutions to each other!  Don’t be afraid to let students come up with their own ideas.  You will be rewarded and surprised!

  • Assignment: Rube Goldberg Machine
    • Honda – The Cog Video Page, the example
    • Invention Cartoon: Can Opener Page
    • Invention Cartoon: Self
  • Assignment: Rube Goldberg presentation

2 Hours

Fluid Power 3.0

In this awesome hands on unit, students investigate and apply Pascal’s law and Boyles Law as well as determine ratios between similar and dissimilar volumes acting on one another.  Students also investigate the various factors affecting projectile motion and apply their learning while building a pneumatic t-shirt launcher!

  • Fluid Power: A Force for Change
  • Fluid Power Literacy
  • T-Shirt Launcher

9-12 Hours

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Electrical Circuits 2.0

So students understand the basics of electricity, so what can you do with it?  How about play with electrolytes?  Explore the relationship between electricity and magnetism?  How about learning what all those symbols mean so that you can read the foreign language that is electricity?

  • Open and Closed circuits
  • Conductors and Insulators
  • Series and Parallel Circuits
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Making an Electromagnet

5-10 Hours

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What do you do with the world as the robots take over?  How do we deal with the advancements of the 21st Century when humanity’s privacy, their social standing, even their existence might be threatened?  In this unit, students will think creatively about two of the challenges facing our society as the 21st Century unfolds.

  • GPS Implants Assignment
  • Gilbane Gold Assignment

3-4 Hours

No Supplies Required

Technical Communications

Here it is, the unit teachers have been asking for!  A unit completely dedicated to teaching those professional soft-skills our students needs so badly.  The time you spend on the resume alone is time well spent.  Everything else is just icing on the professional cake.

  • Prepare a Presentation Assignment
  • Write a Memo Assignment
  • Write an Executive Summary Assignment
  • Create a Resume Assignment
  • Write a Thank You Letter

7-15 Hours

No Supplies Required

Dreams vs. Nightmares

As the 21st Century had gotten underway, we are starting to see our dreams and our nightmares become reality.  Is the self-driving car really coming?  Will I be able to ride a train a 700 miles and hour?  However, our nightmares are also becoming real.  Things like global warming and robots replacing humans.  All these questions require thought to process.  Students can begin think about what dreams they have for the engineering world, and what nightmares those dreams might create.

  • Dreams VS Nightmares Quiz

1 Hour

No Supplies Required

Project Management

This unit expands upon our technical communication unit with looking at the tasks a Project Manager takes on.  Students will get a chance to experience these tasks, and even use these tasks in real world settings.  This unit is important in finding those individuals who can truly do it all.

  • Bill of Materials
  • Performing Costing
  • Project and Purchasing Plans

3-6 Hours

No Supplies Required


Can you really manipulate a copper penny and turn it into “gold”?  With the right materials, and enough energy, you will!  How about oil affects how we can recycle water bottles.  How can we change this?  Nanotechnology and Graphene will change the world!  How?  All these elements will be explored.

  • Alloying Copper and Zinc Assignment
  • Crude Residue

6-12 Hours

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

When you can spot all the possible failures in a design, you save a bunch of time, effort, and energy.  To understand the effects of those failures will be makes this training more effective.  Understanding and then applying these FMEA procedures as you look at products will get your students ready to look at their own projects and see those possible failures as well as the effects those failures can have.

  • Pressure Cooker DFMEA Assignment

2-5 Hours

No Supplies Required

Problem Solving

The biggest thing industry asks of Engineers is how much experience do they have?  This unit is full of such resume worthy tasks such as working with statistics, thermal energy and thermal energy, and understanding how an HVAC system works.  This unit is literally written in gold.

  • The Janitor’s Dilemma

2-3 Hours

No Supplies Required

Design and Modeling

Humans need shelter from the elements for comfort and survival.  Using formulas and R Values of materials, students calculate, design and build scale models of emergency/homeless shelters.

  • Emergency/Homeless Shelter Assignment

10-15 Hours

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Engineering Work Experience

Time to look at what your students strengths and weaknesses are.  How do those skills translate to the work world?  Which of those skills can be improved through the class?  Match those career dreams with work experience activities designed to improve those necessary skills.

  • Engineering Work Exercises and Activities Assignment

1 Hour

No Supplies Required

Mobility 2088

What will moving around the planet look like in 2088?  Which of the advancements of today are going to take off even bigger by then?  Will these advancements just change or evolve over the decades?  How will the environment be effected?

  • Activity: Mobility 2008 Quiz

1 Hour

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Industry Design Challenge

The Mini-design challenge was just a warm-up.  This is the real deal!  Now you have several more units of information to add to what can be done!  Have the students use this second opportunity to understand the mistakes of the past and make sure they see how their approaches were different or not different at all!

  • Industry Design Challenge
  • Team Report Card
  • Team Report Card
  • Individual Brainstorm #1
  • Individual Brainstorm #2
  • Small Group Brainstorm #1
  • Group Report Submission

5-10 Hours

No Supplies Required

Golf Course Development

Everything that students have done up to this point can be poured into creating a dream golf course. Talk about an introduction into Civil Engineering, this it.  With the sport of Golf not slowing down, this will be a real-world experience.  Do not be afraid to have students take on other sports using the same factors.

  • Golf Course Development Assignment

Time: 10-14 Hours

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Trebuchet 2.0

This unit celebrates math and science through the research, fabrication and testing of a working trebuchet.  Concepts covered are: potential energy, work, velocity, acceleration, efficiency, iterative design simulation, experiment and analysis, cost, precision, accuracy.

  • Research-What we all need to know
  • Measurement Exercise
  • Right Triangles and Trigonometry Exercise
  • Calculations for a counterweight bucket component
  • Energy Exercise
  • Projectile Motion Exercise
  • Calculating Initial Velocity
  • Trebuchet data
  • Launch and Collect!
  • Changing Factors Changes Results
  • Trebuchet Challenge Part I
  • Trebuchet Challenge Part II
  • Trebuchet Games

10-15 Hours

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