Engineering STEM Integrated Projects - CTE Online Model

by CTE Online Admin

The project models collected here are considered integrated units emphasizing Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics of STEM and also present strong supplementary academic assignments and activities in relation to CTE in the fields of:

  • Engineering Design
  • Engineering Technology
  • CAD
  • Programming
About the Team:
This structure of this course and the materials contained within it were created by a team of educators from across the state with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialists Trish Valceschini and Mina Greas.

Program Information
CTE Certification Elements
Standards
California English Common Core Standards (50)
California Math Common Core Standards (26)
Next Generation Science Standards (56)
California's 2013 CTE Standards (59)
California's 2008 CTE Standards (4)
California Academic Content Standards (14)
Competencies / Outcomes

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons that supplement the primary core area of study. This approach provides a full, comprehensive STEM approach to the overall unit/project in a way that also applies academic skills as related to CCSS and Next Generation Science Standards.

Students will be able to:

  • effectively brainstorm as a team and sift through the resulting ideas to determine a best solution.
  • sketch a solution to a design challenge that meets the constraints of the challenge.
  • construct a prototype of their solution to the design challenge.
  • draw a circuit diagram of the solution to their design challenge.
  • program an Arduino controller with a simple code.
  • relate the evolution of products to the design process and changes in their project.
  • apply the design process to evaluate and modify their projects for greater performance.
  • graphing both hot air balloon and helium balloon data.
  • use two points to find an equation.
  • compare volume and lifting force for both hot air and helium.
  • predict volume needed for both hot air and helium to lift any amount of weight.
  • understand how to use Aristotle's Argumentation Appeals effectively.
  • synthesize information to present arguments
  • brainstorm designs
  • establish criteria to evaluate different designs
  • analyze designs using qualitative and quantitative criteria
  • defend the chosen solution using evidence and logic
  • research and document the required resources for their prototype.
  • develop a 3D CAD model and engineering drawings of their prototype.
  • fabricate a new product or modify existing products to test their prototype concept.
  • create a pricing plan for their prototype.
  • orally present a technical presentation

Units

The Engineering Design Process: Design a Soccer Mat

In this project, students will work in teams of two to design a soccer cleat mat. Each team will apply the design process steps in the development of their solution. Students will work together as a product design team to create a solution to the soccer design cleat problem. The design challenges are written up in such a way that teams will experience a design work environment. Students will then make plans to market their solution to a company.

Lesson 1: Students will apply the design process to solving the paper bridge design challenge and understand that engineering design process involves a characteristics set of practices and steps used to develop innovative solutions to problems.

Lesson 2: In this lesson, students will sketch a variety of objects. The goal is to produce hand-drawn representations of real objects that closely resemble the actual objects and that appear three-dimensional. Students will focus on obtaining the correct shape and proportions of each object from a single “straight-on” or orthographic view and add shading to produce a more realistic three-dimensional effect.

Lesson 3: This activity will help students understand the sketching tools and extrusion features that are common to most CAD programs, plan an efficient method of simple model creation and gain experience creating simple 3D models.

Lesson 4: This final lesson is designed to have the students apply the design process to a problem. It is important throughout this project to reiterate the steps that are being used so that students continue to use the appropriate terminology. Consider reviewing the Design Process presentation if needed.

Identifying and Justifying Problems - STEM Integrated Unit

This is a Linked Learning unit based on the Engineering Design Process Scoring Rubric (EDPPSR), Element A, Identification and Justification of the Problem.

In our experience, high school students struggle to clearly and objectively identify real-world problems. They also struggle with research requiring students to critically read and integrate knowledge from many source, nor do they know how to conduct surveys in a manner that will produce objective and relevant data regarding the problem they are trying to justify.

Therefore, the CTE lessons in this unit start with the Engineering Grand Challenges as a set of well-defined problems and focus on Solar Energy. The CTE lessons were written with the help of Deborah McVay and Susan Carle (English Teachers) in order to focus on the Common Core Reading and Writing skills that need to be developed in the Engineering class.

The English lessons bring to life the importance of engineering design in historical/literary context through the Chimney Sweeps of 19th Century England and Victorian Literature. Chimney Sweeps are an example of the terrible child labor practices that ended with the invention of tools necessary to do the task without children.

The Math lessons support the Engineering Design process through the essential elements of survey design and optimization. Survey design is often necessary when talking to a large number of primary stakeholders. Optimization is an essential design skill throughout the Engineering Design Process.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by Ted Harder (CTE), Janet Lewis (Math), and Deborah McVay (ELA) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Mina Greas.

Engineering Design
4 Hours
Math Topics
6 Hours
English Literature
4 Hours

Generating and Defending an Original Solution - STEM Integrated Unit

This is a Linked Learning unit based on the Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric (EDPPSR) Component 2, which has the following elements:

  • Design Concept Generation, Analysis and Selection
  • Application of STEM Principles and Practices
  • Consideration of Design Viability

The project presented here is the design of a projectile launcher.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in Math and English Language Arts (ELA) that supplement the primary core area of study.

  • The Math lessons focus on mathematical modeling in the design process.
  • The English lessons focus on the Brainstorming process in the context of poetry.

The unit can be adapted based on the preparation the students have had in terms of drafting/CAD and physical principles. The unit may be followed by another unit actually building the designs and testing them. This would easily take another week of class time, so the instructors need to consider whether or not this will be a culminating task or a skill builder.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by Ted Harder (CTE), Janet Lewis (Math), and Deborah McVay (ELA) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Mina Greas.

Engineering Design
4 Hours
Math
5 Hours
ELA
6 Hours

Creating a STEM-Themed Amusement Park - STEM Integrated Unit

CAMS AP is an interdisciplinary project that is designed to have teams of students working together to design, promote, market and create a STEM-themed amusement park. The culminating activity in the project is an investor fair where students will try to convince potential investors to fund their theme park project. This project is meant to be completed over a 4-6 week course of study.

By the end of this project, students will have developed and utilized a variety of skills including:
written and oral communication, research, problem-solving, collaboration, and creating solutions to real-world problems.

In the engineering section of this project, students explore the types of engineering careers applicable to an amusement park. The relevant careers they discover may include environmental engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and safety engineers. They experiment to discover the scientific principles behind amusement park rides, design their own amusement park attraction, and build a model of it for presentation and display.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in English Language Arts, Social Science, Art, and Japanese that supplement the primary core area of study.

For the English Language Arts portion of this project, students design an advertising campaign for their STEM-themed amusement park. This includes coming up with an enticing name for their park, writing a catchy slogan, creating a commercial, and designing print advertising.

The role of Social Science comes into play as students develop a business plan for their amusement park enterprise and pitch it to a panel of potential investors.

To address Art, students incorporate the concept of STEM into their architectural designs and illustrate the main street of their amusement park using one-point perspective.

Students apply their Japanese language skills by playing the part of travel agents who are promoting their new amusement park to tourists from Japan.

When Disaster Strikes - STEM Integrated Unit

In this unit, students will prepare for developing their own senior project by engaging in a collaboratively imagined natural disaster. The learning activities are based on Unit 1 of Project Lead The Way's Engineering, Design and Development course; and elements A & B from the Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in Economics and English Language Arts (ELA) that supplement the primary core area of study.

Students will be learning about the design process and resource scarcity. Students will work individually and in teams to brainstorm projects that they will develop later on in the course.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by Eugene Mahmoud (CTE), Lanisha Kelly (Economics), and Shelley McDonald (ELA) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Mina Greas.

Engineering Design
12 Hours
ELA
7 Hours
American Govt.
6 Hours

From Plan to Prototype - STEM Integrated Unit

In this unit, students will develop and document a plan-to-prototype design concept. The learning activities are based on Unit 4 of Project Lead The Way's Engineering, Design and Development course; and elements F & G from the Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric (EDPPSR).

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in English Language Arts (ELA) and Economics that supplement the primary core area of study.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by Eugene Mahmoud (CTE), Lanisha Kelly (Economics), and Shelley McDonald (ELA) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Mina Greas.

Engineering Design
10 Hours
ELA
6 Hours
Economics
6 Hours

The Dam Project - STEM Integrated Unit

In this unit, students create campaign materials and perform a mock referendum for the building of a new hydro project. The specifics of this project are based on the Auburn Dam, an on-going regional controversy.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in History, Math and English Language Arts (ELA) that supplement the primary core area of study.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by David Yeroshek (CTE), LeeAnn Rupley (History), Eric Saltzen (Math), and Patricia Barrett (ELA) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Trish Valceschini.

Up, Up, and Away! - STEM Integrated Unit

In this unit, engineering students model and design a craft that utilizes principles of efficient design to effectively achieve levitation via hot air lift (like a hot air balloon). They explore principles of lift, gases, volume, efficiency, and creativity as they attempt to create a model that can stay afloat for over a minute.

The steps of the design process are modeled well in this linked project as can be found here.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in Math, Science and English Language Arts (ELA) that supplement the primary core area of study.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by James Stockdale (CTE) Alan Webberley (Math), and Bridget Howitt (ELA) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Mike Morris.

Engineering Design
2 weeks
Math
3 Hours
ELA
5 Hours

Solar Duino House - STEM Integrated Unit

In this unit, students will design and build a simple model home that uses solar-generated and stored power to run an arduino-controlled fan cooling and lighting system. They learn how to capture, store, and control solar energy, as well as how to program arduino units to use temperature sensors to accomplish their project.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in Math and English Language Arts (ELA) that supplement the primary core area of study.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by James Stockdale (CTE) Alan Webberley (Math), and Bridget Howitt (ELA) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Mike Morris.

Engineering Design
2 - 3 weeks
Math
4 Hours
ELA
7 Hours

CAD Cake - STEM Integrated Unit

In this 7th-8th Grade unit, students will learn about perimenter, area and volume mathematically speaking and formulate a 2-D drawing to take into the Autodesk Inventor lab. In the Inventor lab, they will learn basic as well as more advanced features to turn their created 2-D drawings into 3-D created masterpieces where they will then learn the basics of problem-solving as well as the various disciplines of engineering, while comparing and contrasting between the different building structures in their history lessons.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in Math and History that supplement the primary core area of study.

The structure of this unit and the materials contained within it were created by Leslie Wasley(CTE), Carmen Wright (Math), and Naqiba Gregory (History) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Mina Greas.

CTE
15 Class Periods
Math
5 Class Periods
History
10 Class Periods

Engineering Reality: The Interactive Classroom PBL Project

Students will transform their classroom into an interactive experience by incorporating mixed reality elements of augmented reality, virtual reality, and holograms.

Lesson 1: In this lesson, students will find out what virtual reality is and how it came to be. They will experiment with depth perception to find out how virtual reality viewers work, and get hands on experience with virtual reality viewers and images.

Lesson 2: In this lesson, students will find out what augmented reality is and how it can be used. They will plan a video to use for augmentation and compare and contrast augmented reality and virtual reality.

Lesson 3: In this lesson students will take a look at how holograms work, what is and isn't really a hologram, build a hologram viewer, and make a hologram of themselves.

Lesson 4: This final lesson of a four lesson project culminates in a project called the Interactive Classroom, where students transform their classroom into an informative and interactive space for visiting students, parents, and community members.

Arduino-Controlled Rube Goldberg Machine PBL Project

In these four PBL lessons, students will be working together to design, build, and code a simple machine to complete a simple task, otherwise known as a Rube Goldberg Machine. 

Students will be able to identify and build simple machines using everyday materials. They will also integrate an Arduino controlled component (such as a motor or sensor) into their Rube Goldberg Machine. In the culminating lesson, students evaluate their completed Rube Goldberg Machines. Each student will complete a self-evaluation upon project completion. Final projects are presented in a student showcase open to their entire learning community.

The skills students will gain by the end of this project are critical thinking and problem solving, as well as design concepts such as balance & symmetry, if-then thinking, planning, measuring, organizing, collaboration, and persistence.

FAIL! Using the Engineering Design Process to Design an Electric Vehicle

This unit uses the engineering design process (EDP) to design and build a battery powered go-kart, bicycle, or boat or some other large scale CTE project. In the CTE course, the students choose their project and establish their path throughout the remainder of the course. Introduction to the EDP uses case studies in engineering failures to help reinforce excellence in process and assists in the selection of key components project based activity.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in Chemistry that supplement the primary core area of study.

A key safety concern in this project is the danger involved with the handling, use, and maintenance of lead-acid batteries. The chemistry and safety of batteries is explained and reinforced in both the CTE and supporting academic core science courses.

The Big One is Coming-Planning for a California Earthquake STEM Integrated Project

Are you ready for the Big One? 

To begin this project, students write an essay describing their own state of preparedness. Working in seismic engineering teams, they engage in hands on labs and computer simulations to learn about wave properties and how loads affect structures. They study plate tectonics and interview survivors of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Communication skills are showcased in an earthquake themed narrative, and technology skills are put to use creating a story map and a public service announcement video. The project culminates with student teams building a shake table and testing their prototyped buildings for earthquake resistance.

Delivering the Goods: A Study of Hurricanes and Hydraulics STEM Integrated Project

Every year natural disasters occur all over the world. The damage caused by natural disasters can be devastating and cause problems with food and water supplies. The 2017 hurricane in Puerto Rico is an example of what happens when supplies are available, but distribution becomes problematic. In this unit students will learn about hurricanes and design a hydraulic arm to aid in the distribution of needed supplies to areas affected by a natural disaster. 

This integrated unit will involve engineering, math, science, and language arts.

Engineering: students will design and build a hydraulic arm to solve the problem of distributing supplies in a natural disaster area.

Through the Wall - Sustainable Wall Panel Design STEM Integrated Project

In this project, students will need to identify the best materials to use in a manufactured wall panel. They will need to justify their choices with a thorough analysis and they will create a data sheet that outlines their designed wall panel.

CTE: For the Sustainable Wall Panel Project, they will be designing their own wall panel and will need to understand the types of materials used.