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Principles of Engineering

Course Outline


Teacher—Mr. Tad Herman         Office: Rm. 272 or 165                                                   Email—


Course Description


This is one of the “Project Lead The Way” courses offered at John Jay.  (For more information, see )  Students have the opportunity to earn Rochester Institute of Technology college credit for this course. (As they do with other PLTW courses).  This will be discussed more towards the end of the year. 


(Excerpt from PLTW) Principles Of Engineering (POE) is a high school-level survey course of engineering. The course exposes students to some of the major concepts that they will encounter in a postsecondary engineering course of study. Students have an opportunity to investigate engineering and high tech careers.


There are four major units.  Each unit is approximately equal, so you can expect to do one unit per quarter.  The units are not sequential, so they may not be done in the order listed.


Unit 1 Energy and Power(49 days)

Lesson 1.1 Mechanisms (15 days):

Lesson 1.2 Energy Sources (11 days):

Lesson 1.3 Energy Applications (10 days):

Lesson 1.4 Design Problem – Energy and Power (13 days):

Unit 2 Materials and Structures (40 days)

Lesson 2.1 Statics (14 Days):

Lesson 2.2 Material Properties (11 Days):

Lesson 2.3 Material Testing (10 Days):

Lesson 2.4 Design Problem – Materials and Structures (5 Days):

Unit3 Control Systems (46 days)

Lesson 3.1 Machine Control (16 days):

Lesson 3.2 Fluid Power (15 days):

Lesson 3.3 Design Problem – Control Systems (15 days):

Unit 4 Statistics and Kinematics (30 Days)

Lesson 4.1 Statistics (5 Days):

Lesson 4.2 Kinematics (10 Days):

Lesson 4.3 Design Problem – Statistics and Kinematics (15 Days):



Homework Assignments- There are few assignments that are strictly “homework”.  If we start something in class, you may be asked to finish it as homework.  There are a number of projects that require “innovative” materials.  This may involve looking around your home to find these materials to use.


Tests—There won’t be a lot of tests.  They usually center around the math related topics.  The final exam is an online test generated by PLTW.  We will take it during the final few days of classes in June.


Team Project Work- The long term project teams of 3 or 4 will be chosen by the teacher based on trying to establish diverse abilities among each team.  So, you need to be comfortable will working with strangers.  With each project, you will be given a “check off sheet” which will indicate what needs to be recorded in your portfolio and/or lab book.  Along with the fun of building things, you will be responsible for keeping a journal of your progress.  Much more details about the very important PORTFOLIO will be coming shortly.


Grading Policy— Points will be given for different aspects of each project/ activity/ test.  These points will lead to some total by the end of each quarter. A few weeks before each grading period, some sort of conversion from the accumulated points to a percent grade will be indicated.

Good things like exceptional presentations, well organized portfolios, work being done thoroughly before due dates, will earn extra points.  Points will be taken away for bad things like, poor presentations, uncompleted tasks, things missing from portfolios, not working well in a team.  (Points won’t be taken away for “losing” in a project design.)