Engineering Development and Design


PLTW – Engineering Design and Development (EDD)  (1 Year)


Course Description:

EngineeringDesign and Development (EDD) is the capstone course in the PLTW high school engineering program. It is an engineering research course in which students work in teams to design and develop an original solution to a valid open-ended technical problem by applying the engineering design process. The course applies and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and technology.

Utilizing Project Based Learning (PBL) teaching and learning pedagogy, students will perform research to choose, validate, and justify a technical problem. After carefully defining the problem, teams of students will design, build, and test their solution. Finally, student teams will present and defend their original solution to an outside panel. While progressing through the engineering design process, students will work closely with  a community mentor and experts and will continually hone their organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, their creative and problem solving abilities, and their understanding of the design process.

Engineering Design and Development is a high school level course that is appropriate for 12th grade students. Since the projects on which students work can vary with student interest and the curriculum focuses on problem solving, EDD is appropriate for students who are interested in any technical career path.  EDD should be taken as the final capstone PLTW course since it requires application of the knowledge and skills from the PLTW foundation courses.


What will my classes be like?

Have you ever said: “Don’t you hate it when…?” Here is your chance to do something about it!  Working as part of a team, you’ll design a solution to a technical problem of your choosing. Research, design, test, and construct that solution and present it to industry partners. Use what you have already learned to guide you through the process of design and product development.  Who knows? You and your team might solve a problem that has stumped others, just because you were able to let your imaginations soar.


Course Goals / Objectives:

The Project Lead the Way curriculum, including Introduction to Engineering Design, focuses on making math and science relevant for students.  The approach used is called PBL (project based learning). By engaging in hands-on, real-world projects, students understand how the material covered in class can be applied in their everyday lives.  Learning activities will include teacher-led instruction, cooperative learning, and project-based learning. Technology will be used to enhance students learning, and provide real-world applications.

Engineering is a profession that contributes to change and improvements in our world.  It creates imaginative and visionary solutions to the challenges of the 21st century – the problems of feeding the world, how we will use energy and continue to protect our environment.  Engineering and technology play a vital role in the quality of everyday life and wealth creation. Appropriate attitudes relative to the professional social obligations of the engineer, and the relationships between math, science, technology and society need to be learned.  Real world, open-ended engineering problems that cover a wide range of content will be presented.


Course Outline:   (1 Year)


Unit 1: Project Management (22 days)

           Lesson 1.1: Overview and Expectations

           Lesson 1.2: The Design Process

Unit 2: Define a Problem (22 days)

           Lesson 2.1: Identify a Valid Problem

           Lesson 2.2: Justify the Problem

Unit 3: Design a Solution (40 days)

           Lesson 3.1: Select a Solution Path

           Lesson 3.2: Develop a Design Proposal

Unit 4: Design and Prototype a Solution (64 days)

           Lesson 4.1: Plan for the Prototype

           Lesson 4.2: Build the Prototype

Unit 5: Test, Evaluate, and Refine the Solution (20 days)

           Lesson 5.1: Plan the Test

           Lesson 5.2: Test the Prototype

Unit 6: Communicate the Process and Results (10 days)

           Lesson 6.1: Documentation and Presentation


Assessment Standards / Grading Practices:

  • Grades will be calculated on a straight point basis.  Projects will be based on a scale of 1 to 100 points depending on the assignment or project.  Daily work and participation grades will be based on completion of the Engineering Notebook, Portfolio, and teamwork.  Each group is required to submit weekly progress reports and a final written report and display board and defend their solutions to a panel or outside reviewers at the end of the school year.  All students must maintain a detailed Engineering Notebook and Portfolio to pass the class. They will be checked periodically throughout semester.


College Credit Opportunities:

University of Texas at Tyler - Dual Credit

ENGR 1304 - Engineering Graphics.



Field Experiences / Competitive Opportunities:

The PLTW Engineering programs offer students an array of advantages, from career readiness and hands-on experience to college preparatory–level classes, labs and creative exercises. PLTW students succeed in the classroom and in life.

Our programs are designed to appeal to all students, from those already interested in STEM-related fields, to those whose experience in the sciences and math has been less comprehensive or who find themselves uninterested in traditional science and math curricula.

PLTW classes are hands-on, based in real-world experience, and engaging for students and teachers. We set the highest standards for rigorous, focused and relevant study, and develop students’ innovative, collaborative, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Our relationships with teachers, parents, local and national business leaders and university partners allow us to offer a complete experience both for students wishing to pursue a post-secondary degree in a STEM-related field and for those planning to join the workforce after high school.  STEM literacy reduces dropout rates, increases attendance and helps students find better-paying jobs after school.


College and Career Pathways:

  • Science & Mathematics

  • Engineering & Technology

  • For sample occupations and postsecondary educational requirements, visit: and click

on “Career Clusters & Pathways”


Placement Guidelines / Recommendations:

We are confident that the Technology Center of DuPage experience is a positive and productive learning opportunity for DuPage County students.  With this in mind, the following academic guidelines are recommendations intended to assist in scheduling students for success. If a student considering Pathway to Engineering does not meet one or more of these guidelines, contact Brian Clement or Judy Johnson to clarify individual situations.



·        Attendance - Being present and actively participating in class. If absent, it is the student's responsibility to see what he or she has missed and make that work up as soon as possible.

·        Mathematics -  Suggested that students have Algebra and Geometry completed with a grade of B or better.

·        Reading/Writing -  Suggested that students have a 9th -10th grade reading level.  Technical writing in this class is required.

·        Science -  No prerequisites for this course.


Professional Skills:

·        Time Management -  Students need to apply themselves on a daily basis.

·        Personal Motivation -  Actively seeking and taking part in any undertaking relating to the chosen skill area.

·        Problem-SolvingAbility -  This course encourages and teaches students to problem solve and use critical thinking to solve problems.

·        Reliability/Dependability - Demonstration by the student that he/she can be relied upon to do what is expected in class and in group work. This includes completing assignments on time and in a professional manner and working with their group partner.

·        Ability to Work with Others -  A variety of skills including teamwork are addressed.  In this course students must work in groups on various tasks and projects for solving problems, generating ideas, stimulating critical thinking, etc. by unrestrained spontaneous participation in discussion.  Students will acquire strong teamwork and communication skills throughout this course.