Project Lead the Way
Project Lead the Way is a STEM based class that will have students using problem-solving strategies, thinking critically and creatively, communicating and collaborating with others, and persevering when something does not work the first time.
Students are expected to participate in all curriculum activities, including collaborative group projects for problem-based learning. Students are to be prepared for class and follow the social contract established by the class.
I use Remind to send reminders and information to parents and students.To get Text notifications: Text the message @78pltw to the number 81010. If you’re having trouble with 81010, try texting @8scipreap to (469) 606-4766. Don’t have a mobile phone? Go to rmd.at/78pltw on a desktop computer to sign up for email notifications.
IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENTS—Part tutorial, part demonstration of competence with design tools, these assignments will be completed in class. These assignments will be good reference tools for future projects as a lot of information on how to do certain types of sketching or modeling will be covered within them.
DESIGN CHALLENGES—Students will spend the majority of their time in this course working on various design challenges. Each design challenge is a group assignment, and will receive one grade. These design challenges will involve the synthesis and utilization of the design process and various design skills learned in class to create a prototype solution to a given problem. While the group will be given one grade for the project, all members of the group will take a survey on the performance of their group members during the project. This survey can have a positive effect on the grade the individual receives, a neutral effect, or a negative effect.
Absences: Due to the hands-on nature of the course, make up work will typically need to be scheduled with Mrs. Henry upon your return to class. It is not always possible to send work home, so you may need to schedule tutoring to make up what you have missed during class.
Grading: Students will receive a half credit (.5) for high school credit upon successful completion of this course. Students will have classwork, homework, quizzes and test/projects for this class.
First Semester Design and Modeling
This course will function as an introduction to the design process and various design tools used in the design and engineering process. During this class, students will constantly be collaborating in teams to work through problems as engineers and designers would. They will complete design challenges while simultaneously being exposed to the tools and software that they will need to complete them. This class is also the introductory Project Lead the Way and teaches skills that will be used in future PLTW courses.
Unit 1—Introduction to Engineering and Design
- first design challenge of the semester—a foot orthosis for a child with cerebral palsy
- introduction to Engineering, Design, and the Design Process
Unit 2—Introduction to Sketching
- introduction to different types of sketching and learn about their purpose
- practice different types of sketching of objects
Unit 3—Puzzle Cube Design Challenge
- student groups will work together to design, build, test, analyze, and present a puzzle cube toy for a hypothetical client company
Unit 4—Introduction to Modeling
- introduction to different types of modeling and their purpose
- use statistical modeling to analyze their puzzle cube designs from the previous unit
- use CAD software to create 3D models of the puzzle cube designs from the previous unit
- learn basic 3D modeling techniques
Unit 5—Therapeutic Toy Design Challenge
- student groups will work together to brainstorm, design, build, test, analyze, and present a children’s toy to be used as part of occupational therapy for a child with cerebral palsy.
Second Semester Automation and Robotics
This course will function as an introduction to the concepts of automation and robotics in the workplace. We will deal more specifically with the mechanisms that physically make a robot move and the computer programming that tells it what to do. This class will also continue the use of the Design Process as a tool for guiding engineering and design challenges. During this class, students will be collaborating in teams to work through problems as engineers and designers would. They will complete design challenges while simultaneously being exposed to the tools and software that they will need to complete them.
Unit 1—Introduction to Design, Engineering, Automation, and Robotics
- learn about STEM careers and how they impact the world
- learn about division of labor, automation, and the difference between a machine and a robot
Unit 2—Introduction to Gear Mechanisms
- learn about and analyze the torque of various gear mechanisms
- build and analyze different gear mechanisms for their effects on torque and speed
Unit 3—Gear Mechanism Design Challenges
- student groups will work together to design the mechanisms for a windmill that meets certain criteria
- student group will work together to create a pull toy
Unit 4—Introduction to Computer Programming
- introduction to writing computer code and breaking tasks down into basic tasks
- planning computer programs through the use of pseudocode
- use a robotics test bed to practice writing computer code using RobotC computer language
- Student groups will work together to build and program a variety of different challenges
Unit 5—Automated Systems Design Challenges
student groups will work together to build an automated assembly line