• Principles of Engineering

    Principles of Engineering

    Course Outline


    Teacher—Mr. Tad Herman         Office: Rm. 272 or 165                                                   Email—thaddeus.herman@wcsdny.org


    Course Description


    This is one of the “Project Lead The Way” courses offered at John Jay.  (For more information, see www.pltw.org )  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):




    ·        This is an honors level class (earning weighted grade. Weight is according to current course handbook)

    ·        There are MATH “storms” in this class.  There are many “dry” periods without a “rain” of numbers, but there is a two week period with some of the most intense math you may see in your high school career.

    ·        You can earn college credit from Rochester Institute of Tech (RIT)

    ·        You will often work with teams on big projects and your teammates are rarely chosen by you.    

    ·        You will be expected to use, or learn to use a bandsaw, drill press, and various other power tools.

    ·        There will be numerous presentations to the class.

    ·        At least 75% of the students in this class go off to college to pursue an engineering or science degree.

    ·        All PLTW final exams are nationally generated tests and are administered online.

    ·        Mr. Herman’s favorite class to teach


    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.)

     OVERALL COURSE GRADE -Each quarter grade is equally weighted and the four will be averaged to compute your overall average for the course. If your overall course grade is 85 or above, then you will "cross the first hurdle" to being eligible for RIT credit.  The second hurdle in the Online Final Exam.
    Online Final Exam - The online final exam has traditionally been given on the first day of testing in June.  It is about a 2-hour test on all material from the course.  It is score somewhat like an AP test.  For an AP, you can get a score of 1-5.  The PLTW final exams are graded on a 1-9 score, with 9 being the best scores.  RIT has always accepted a 6 or better, along with an 85 from the overall school grade, for RIT credit.
    Once the exam grade is generated, it is converted to a numerical grade out of 100 (at the teacher's discretion).  This grade is incorporated into the 4th quarter grade.  It usually counted for about 25-35% of the 4th quarter grade. 


    Missed Work—Most of the work for this class is done in class.  You will be most likely to be working with a team, so your attendance is essential.  If I feel that you are absent or late to class too often, then I will first give you a warning, then participation points may be taken if the behavior continues.


    My Expectation of Students

    §         You are expected to have one PLTW graph paper composition notebook.

    §         You are expected to leave your notebooks in the classroom everyday. If you feel you need to take them out of class, please ask me before taking them. 

    §         Courteous, respectful and mature behavior is expected at all times.  If I need to speak to you more than twice about disruptive behavior, I will be contacting your parents.  This is not a required course and you don’t need to be here.

    §         To be in your seats and ready to go when the bell rings.

    §         ASK QUESTIONS!

    §         To work (well) with others, and not to always expect to work with your friends.

    §         If you are having difficulty, please ask for extra help.


    My Expectations of the Teacher

    §         To present as little material as I feel necessary, and let you do your own learning (while still meeting the goals of the course).

    §         I expect to hand back all graded material within one week.

    §         To be willing to learn with you.

    §         Courteous, respectful and mature behavior is expected at all times.

    §         To be in the room and ready to go when the bell rings.

    §         ANSWER QUESTIONS!

    §         If you are having difficulty, I will be very willing to give extra help.  Please feel free to talk to me anytime during the school day to set up extra help time during or after school.  I also invite you and/or your parents to contact me via EMAIL