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Principles of Engineering (PLTW)

Course Description

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.

Grade Level(s): 10th-12th Grades

Principles of Engineering is a Project Lead the Way course taught by Kirkwood teachers with PLTW curriculum and resources.  Curriculum for each subject area is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, which align closely with Missouri Learning Standards for Science.  The PLTW Principles of Engineering Course Outline can be viewed HERE.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

Unit 1: Energy and Power

The goal of Unit 1 is to introduce students to mechanisms, energy sources, and alternative energy applications. Students will gain an understanding of mechanisms through the application of theory-based calculations accompanied by lab experimentation.

Unit 2: Materials and Structures

The goal of Unit 2 is for students to have a more concrete understanding of engineering through materials properties and statics. Students begin by learning about beam deflection and then forces on truss structures. They learn to identify forces acting on those structures and then gain the ability to calculate internal and external forces acting on those structures.

Unit 3: Control Systems

The goal of Unit 3 is for students to recognize the abundance of and infinite variety of computer use in our daily lives. Students learn to control mechanical systems by recognizing computer outputs and gaining an understanding of how to write code to control them. They additionally experiment with various input devices and learn how they can adapt computer code to control computer outputs.

Unit 4: Statistics and Kinematics

In Unit 4, students are engaged in learning to use statistics to evaluate an experiment. Later they begin a study of dynamics, specifically kinematics, and apply statistical skills to study freefall motion.