Instructor: Ken Leonard


Engineering Design

Learning by Doing in Engineering Design

Through Project Lead the Way

Affordable housing design, biofuel production, app development; these are all hands-on, real-world challenges students face in their Engineering courses. Throughout the program, students step into the varied roles engineers play in our society, discover new career paths and possibilities, and develop engineering knowledge and skills. In addition, as students work in teams to design and test solutions, they’re empowered to develop in-demand, transportable skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and communication; 21st skills.

In this pathway, students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3-D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work. Through problems that engage and challenge students, they will explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.

Manufactured items are part of everyday life, yet most students have not been introduced to the high-tech, innovative nature of modern manufacturing. The Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing classes (CAD, CAM), illuminate the opportunities for design and production teaching manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation.

The knowledge and skills students acquire throughout PLTW Engineering come together in the Capstone Course, Engineering Design and Development as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. Students apply the professional skills they have developed over their course of study to document a design process to industry standards.  By completing Engineering Design and Development students should be ready to take on any post-secondary program.

Possible Careers

Aerospace Engineer ►Agricultural Engineer ►Analytical Chemist ►Anthropologist ►Architectural Engineer ►Astrophysicist ►Biomedical Engineer ►CAD Technician ►Civil Engineer ►Computer Programmer ►Ecologist ►Geologist ►Geothermal Engineer ►Math Teacher ►Mathematician ►Metallurgist ►Statistician ►Survey Technician ►Zoologist  For a comprehensive list of careers please click on

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