Engineering Design and Development

Course Description:

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  a community mentor and 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.

What will my classes be like?

Have you ever said: “Don’t you hate it when…?” Here is your chance to do something about it!  Working as part of a team, you’ll design a solution to a technical problem of your choosing. Research, design, test, and construct that solution and present it to industry partners. Use what you have already learned to guide you through the process of design and product development.  Who knows?  You and your team might solve a problem that has stumped others, just because you were able to let your imaginations soar. (Find examples of projects at the Pathway to Engineering page at

Course Goals / Objectives:

The Project Lead the Way curriculum, including Introduction to Engineering Design, focuses on making math and science relevant for students.  The approach used is called APPB-learning (activities, projects, and problem-based learning).  By engaging in hands-on, real-world projects, students understand how the material covered in class can be applied in their everyday lives.  Learning activities will include teacher-led instruction, cooperative learning, and project-based learning.  Technology will be used to enhance students learning, and provide real-world applications. 

Engineering is a profession that contributes to change and improvements in our world.  It creates imaginative and visionary solutions to the challenges of the 21st century – the problems of feeding the world, how we will use energy and continue to protect our environment.  Engineering and technology play a vital role in the quality of everyday life and wealth creation.  Appropriate attitudes relative to the professional social obligations of the engineer, and the relationships between math, science, technology and society need to be learned.  Real world, open-ended engineering problems that cover a wide range of content will be presented. 

Course Outline:

Unit 1: Project Management 

Lesson 1.1: Overview and Expectations

Lesson 1.2: The Design Process

Unit 2: Define a Problem 

Lesson 2.1: Identify a Valid Problem

Lesson 2.2: Justify the Problem

Unit 3: Design a Solution 

Lesson 3.1: Select a Solution Path

Lesson 3.2: Develop a Design Proposal

Unit 4: Design and Prototype a Solution 

Lesson 4.1: Plan for the Prototype

Lesson 4.2: Build the Prototype

Unit 5: Test, Evaluate, and Refine the Solution 

Lesson 5.1: Plan the Test

Lesson 5.2: Test the Prototype

Unit 6: Communicate the Process and Results 

Lesson 6.1: Documentation and Presentation


Many of the assignments given will require time outside of class. You are expected to meet deadlines and assignment dates and work with your teammates to finish assignments.

Grades are based on the following guidelines.

An AVERAGE student:

  • Follows rules. Follows directions.
  • Is on task MOST of the time. Is prepared for class.
  • Is on time to class.Uses unmodified clip art in projects.
  • Picks up and cleans up area. Returns material to its proper location.
  • Always turns in folder on the date assigned.

An EXCELLENT student: does all that an average student does, but...

  • Is ALWAYS on task.
  • Asks relevant questions.
  • Uses some clip art but modifies it and makes it unique.
  • Positively assists other students when asked.
  • Helps others pick up and clean up after finishing own.
  • Always turns in folder on the date assigned.

Average work = 80 - 89        Average work is defined as work that:

  • Mostly follows instructions and examples.
  • Correctly answers 8 out of 10 questions.
  • Is neat, legible, and complete.
  • Is on time.
  • Shows some understanding of material, concepts, or skills.

Excellent work >90   Excellent work is defined as work that:

  • Completely follows instructions and examples.
  • Answers 10 out of 10 questions correctly.
  • Shows complete understanding and use of knowledge or skills gained.

Your six weeks grade will be based on the following:


Assessments and Projects/Test................... 70%


Six weeks grade100%

Daily- 30%

  • Homework
  • Classwork
  • QuizzesAssessments
  • Short/minor projects and/or presentations
  • Hands-on labs, assessment of process
  • Engineering NotebookProjects/Tests- 70%
  • Unit tests or portfolios
  • Cumulative projects and/or presentationsMaterials:
  • Map Pencils (12 colors)
  • Mechanical pencils
  • 5 x 5 Graph Paper Composition Book
  • Tape
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