Engineering Class Added to Course Offerings


Graphic by Nate Taylor

The innovation behind the course extends to its environment, which will feature a classroom dedicated to engineering design. A workshop containing power tools, wood and 3D printing materials will be connected to the classroom. Additionally, a glass wall will divide the two sections, allowing for the supervision of students working in the workshop and classroom.

Ajinkya Rane and Shawyan Rooein

Anthony Pham has been working this entire year on developing an engineering design class focusing on technology, design and mechanics. He will pilot the course in the 2020-21 school year.

The class will be an introduction to the engineering design process, design reports and career development, according to Pham. Students who enroll will be engineering in projects both online and in person.  

“There will be a mixture of computer design projects as well as projects that students design and build,” Pham said. “Other activities include learning how to appropriately sketch, the different orthographic views when looking at a device and simple 60-to-70 minute design challenges from everyday household materials.”

The class involves two classrooms that are uniquely connected with a glass wall in between. This added feature gives students the opportunity to easily move from a traditional classroom dedicated to computer-aided design to a “shop” room that features tools and other materials needed for building their projects. 

The engineering class, which eventually will be developed into a course sequence, offers a different learning style in its hands-on application of learning as compared to physics classes’ more theoretical approach.

“I am interested in this class because I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and building things since I’ve been a kid,” junior Arav Seth said. “I think it is really cool that I can pursue something I find fun and am passionate about at school.”

The class is also unique in its application of multiple subjects from all across students’ high school careers, incorporating various years of math, sciences and even artistic elements into the curriculum.  

“There is a lot of cross-curricular referencing in this class that goes beyond the scope of a traditional physics class, which focuses more on using mathematical application to make sense of everyday phenomena,” Pham said. “Engineering is more focused on mathematical, scientific and artistic application to make things come to life to solve problems as opposed to making sense of them.”

Although the mechanics-heavy AP Physics C course is offered to students this year, many seniors value the importance of experiential learning in high school. 

“I wish I was able to take this course because I am about to go to college for engineering and would have loved to get a little taste of what lies ahead of me” senior Aditya Sasanur said. “It would have been a fun experience to build engineering creations while being supported by the school.”