PLTW's Principles of Engineering

1 Credit Course - 2 Trimesters in length - Open to grades 9-12 - (College Credit thru MSOE eligible)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students explore technology systems and engineering processes to find out how math, science and technology help people. Some of the projects in this class include; Engineering Careers exploration, VEX Robotics with “Marble Sorter project”, and Rube Goldberg device with Simple Machines. POE 2 continues to explore Engineering Principles through lessons and projects. Some of the projects in this class include; Internal/External Stresses through a Balsa Bridge, Projectiles through a Ping Pong Ball Launcher, Electricity through Bread boarding, Hydraulics and Pneumatics. Students are eligible for MSOE College Credit upon successful completion of this course (70% Class & 80% Exam). Students must register for POE 1 & 2.

UNIT: VEX Robotics - Marble Sorters: In this unit of POE, students will use our VEX Kits to design, build and program devices. The culminating project of this unit is a device that sorts 10 marbles of 3 varying colors into separate bins. Videos of past completed Marble Sorters from WHS are shown below.

UNIT: Trajectories and Data - Ping Pong Ball Launcher: In this unit of POE, students will build a device to accurately launch a ping pong ball at a target. Through building their device and collecting data on it through Google Sheets, students will plot a graph of their data and use it to hit their target on test day. In this project, students will have access to numerous building tools from the shops, as well as the Laser Engraver and 3D printers as needed.

UNIT: Internal & External Forces - Balsa Bridge: In this unit of POE, students begin to dive into the application of forces acting on individual members of a truss. We will calculate this both longhand (paper) and digitally (computer software). Students will also construct these truss bridges using balsa sticks and glue, culminating in a destructive testing of their bridge to compare theoretical and actual forces.

UNIT: Simple Machines - Rube Golberg Style: In this unit of POE, students will review the various Simple Machines and apply their mechanical advantages towards various problems. In small teams, students will work as a class to construct multiple devices that use various simple machines to complete a given task. This project mimmicks the famous Rube Golberg Machines in old-time comics. Through the construction and testing of these devices, students will have access to the shops, as well as the Laser Engraver and 3D printers as needed.


Listed above are "some" of the units and projects completed in the Principles of Engineering Course at Watertown High School, though more are covered including Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Careers, and more.