A brief introduction to our Co-designed Coding and Rube Goldberg Engineering Course with Dr. P. 2016-17 School Year

Engineering Class

Co-designed Engineering Specialization Class

Engineering with Coding and Rube Goldberg

Students are challenged to think creatively and apply investigated knowledge of coding and simple machines as they explore the possibilities of “creating machines” that transfer energy and perform specified tasks. They design and program using a variety of coding tools and develop and build models of varying applications of Rube Goldberg designs.

In my engineering elective classes, the students will explore the concepts mentioned above in a highly project-based program of study requiring the students to prepare themselves for a Global Society incorporating the 4 C’s:

Critical thinking




Our efforts in class and at home incorporate the engineering processes and the students demonstrate their knowledge of these through their project-based learning. The engineering process, an integral part of my engineering elective courses, includes the following practices:

1. Asking Questions and defining problems

2. Developing and using models

3. Planning and carrying out investigations

4. Analyzing and interpreting data

5. Using math and computation thinking

6. Constructing explanations and developing designs

7. Engaging in argument from evidence

8. Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

In keeping with the important inclusion of engineering practices with my elective course content, the scoring for the students’ work reflects the importance of these concepts embraced.


  Please understand that REQUIRED STUDENT WORK INCLUDES:

       • Any written assignment must be completed in its entirety and on time, including activity reviews and projects, accompanied by a parent/guardian signature when requested.  All work completed at home is assumed to be supervised by parents/guardians.

       • Work completed early can earn bonus credit, work completed on time earns full credit, work that is not completed when due receives a zero in the grade book and STILL must be completed to avoid citizenship grade drops.

       • Work to be completed at home may vary daily, and will also include communications between the student and parents, as well as any work not completed in class.

       • Students absent from class are responsible for obtaining missed information from a team member. I am happy to meet with that child on Mondays after school from 3-4 in room 15 to help clarify any items from their team members that are not understood.

   This student work policy is necessary since all work assigned is an important part of the student's learning process and parental communication. Student and parent collaboration with the school is greatly appreciated. We are working together to achieve the highest student learned outcomes.

   Grading: In keeping with including engineering practices within this elective course, the students’ scoring reflects the importance of the 4 C’s and the engineering practices:

        Final Trimester Grades will be based on the following percentages:

       • Lab investigations, projects, activities and all student work are worth a total of

           79% of the total grade

       • Collaboration with team members is worth a total of 11% of the total grade

       • Excellence, above and beyond, as determined by completion of a variety of

          deliverables, is worth a total of 10% of the final grade.


       • 100-90 = “A” category     • 79 - 70 = “C” category       

       •  89 - 80 = “B” category    • 69% and below is not considered passing (see

                                                        school website)       

Daily Class Reminders:

1- Please remind your child to keep their Engineering Binder, 2 inch spine maximum, in the classroom each day. Please remind your child to have with them every day: two sharpened pencils, two blue or black pens, and their agenda.  Additional materials you believe necessary is at your discretion and always welcomed when benefiting your child’s learning.

3- Communication: The easiest way to communicate is through email. If you email me, please type your child’s name in the subject box. The email address is PLTW and of course, phone calls are fine, but I can respond to emails in a more expedient fashion.

I look forward to working with the students, their parents/guardians, and the community as we travel this journey of discovery together.


Thank you, Dr. P