Curriculum for our E.S.T. Pipeline
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Curriculum for our Engineering, Science,and Technology Educational Pipeline

High School Engineering Curriculum

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The EST Foundations curriculum is comprised of project based lesson plans to introduce students to engineering. Students will explore the new product development process, how marketing impacts engineering, and careers in engineering and science. There are eleven fully developed one-week modules. 

This curriculum is appropriate for high school and advanced middle school students. The basic lesson plans are offered below for your review.  The supporting resources are available only to licensed users. 

Why is the EST pipeline so Important?
Example of teacher presentation file
Texas Educational Objectives
About the curriculum author

Review the summary, detailed objectives, and background information for each module:

Core Modules: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Enrichment Modules: A B C D

Lesson Plans for Core Modules

Topic 1 - Introductions

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
1.1 Class and Teacher Introductions.
1.2 Student Information and Class Requirements
1.3 Skill Specialties and E.S.T. Overview
1.4 Class Administrative Issues
1.5 Perspective of the Engineering Challenge

Topic 2 - New Product Development Project

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
2.1 The Project Life Cycle
2.2 Design Methods
2.3 Practice with Formal Design Method
2.4 Organizing a Presentation for Management
2.5 Practice Presenting to Management

Topic 3 - Engineering Sketching

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
3.1 Orthographic Projection Sketching
3.2 Practice Orthographic Projection Sketching
3.3 Isometric Sketching
3.4 Practice Isometric Sketching
3.5 Dimensioning

Topic 4 - Production and Tool Safety

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
4.1 Basic Tool Descriptions
4.2 Shop Safety
4.3 Written Safety Test
4.4 Common Manufacturing Processes
4.5 Safety Practical

Topic 5 - Marketing

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
5.1  Independent Investigation Into the World of Marketing
5.2 Introduction to Marketing
5.3 Practical Marketing Plan
5.4 Organizing a Presentation for Management
5.5 Practice Presenting to Management

Topic 6 - Conceptual Design

(5-10 hrs.) (view detailed information)
6.1 An Abstract Problem Statement and Function Structure
6.2 Search for Conceptual Solutions
6.3 Defining Design Factors
6.4 Decision Matrices
6.5 Combining Ideas and Choosing a Final Solution Path

Topic 7 - Embodiment Design

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
7.1 Embodiment Design: General Guidelines
7.2 Embodiment Math - Part 1
7.3 Embodiment Math - Part 2
7.4 Embodiment Math - Part 3
7.5 Embodiment Math - Part 4

Topic 8 - Applied Product Testing

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
8.1 Experimentation Fundamentals
8.2 Common Statistics
8.3 Planning an Experimentation Project
8.4 Executing an Experimentation Plan
8.5 Reporting Results

Enrichment Modules

Topic A - Analyzing Motor Performance

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
A.1 Reading DC Motor Data
A.2 A Close Look at Torque Rating
A.3 Predicting Motor Speed Given Load Conditions
A.4 Testing Our Motor's abilities
A.5 Independent Motor Research

Topic B - Engineering in Society

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
B.1 Engineers and the Challenges They Address
B.2 Independent Research
B.3 More Engineers and the Challenges They Address
B.4 Engineering Wonders (ancient and modern)
B.5 Student Presentations

Topic C - Science in Society

(5 hrs.) (view detailed information)
C.1 Overview of Science
C.2 Independent Research
C.3 Opportunities in Science
C.4 Scientific Timeline
C.5 Student Presentations

Topic D - Automation, Robotics, and Society

(5-7 hrs.) (view detailed information)
D.1 Defining Automation and Robotics
D.2 Anatomy of a Robot - I
D.3 Anatomy of a Robot - II
D.4 Typical Automation and Robotics
D.5 Automation, Robotics, and Society
What's Included in Each Module
Free basic download for each 5-day topic:
  • Goal, objectives, and educational standards addressed
  • Summary and background information
  • Recommended teacher preparation
  • Recommended classroom activities
Available on educator's CD ROM including each topic:
  • Customizable PowerPoint presentation slides divided into 5 one-hour lessons (60 lessons in all for over 70 hrs of classroom activity)
  • Student handouts and reading materials
  • A selection of take-home assignments and assessment templates
With your license agreement, you are also granted access to an online discussion and update forum where you can exchange ideas with other teachers and the curriculum author. 

Why Curriculum Such as This is So Important
There are two reports in the congressional archives that capture the essence of the dilemma that our nation faces if we do not act.
An important aspect of U.S. efforts to maintain and improve economic competitiveness is the existence of a capable scientific and technological workforce. A January 2004 report of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Science and Engineering Indicators 2004, states that between the years 2000 and 2010, employment in science and engineering fields will increase at more than three times the rate for all other occupations. In addition, approximately 86% of the increase in science and engineering will be in computer-related positions. Simultaneous with predictions of the future scientific work force is data reporting a decline in the number of students seeking degrees in certain fields. While 33% of the undergraduate degrees awarded are in science and engineering, the portion of degrees earned in the physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering has been static or declining. Disciplines that have witnessed an increase in degrees earned have been primarily psychology and the biological sciences. There is growing concern by many in the scientific community, industry, research-driven federal agencies, and Congress about the production of the nation’s science and engineering personnel. [CRS Report for Congress; Science and Technology Policy: Issues for the 108th Congress, 2nd Session; September 2004]

“We have ignored the lessons we might learn from sports. We pronounce science a fantastic game—that all should learn to play it. We spend years teaching background material, laws, rules, classification schemes, and verifications (disciplines) of the basic game. We plan activities for our students designed to develop in them specific skills that the best scientists seem to possess and use. We believe that proficiency with these skills is an important part of an education in science. It is as if we were developing conditioning exercises to train our students for the science they may actually do at a future time. Unfortunately, however, our students rarely get to play— To spend 13 years preparing for a game, but never once to play it, is too much for anyone.” [U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Elementary and Secondary Education for Science and Engineering-A Technical Memorandum, December 1988]

Students generally have preconceptions that engineering, science, and technology are challenging areas to study (to say the least).  We need to prove to them that these areas can be very rewarding...and that the concepts are well within their grasps.

About the Author
Dr. Michael Wienen achieved his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University in 1999.  His dissertation research focused on the general philosophy behind producing good designs.  Specifically, what qualities do successful designers share in common.  His interest in curricula development and the so-called "Engineering, Science, and Technology educational pipeline" began in 1996.  At that time he was pursing his master's degree, working in the area of automation. (His thesis involved the automation of laboratory processes associated with DNA processing.)  He was invited to mentor a team participating in the BEST Robotics competition.  In 1997 he was invited to deliver "General Introduction to Engineering" as a class at a local private school (to accompany that school's participation in BEST Robotics).  Since that time his involvement in BEST Robotics has continually increased. 

Between 1997 and 2002, Dr. Wienen worked to improve curricula for college engineering students including topics such as Introduction to Engineering, Conservation Principles, Statics, Basic Electricity, Industrial Electricity, and Industrial Automation.  During that time he witnessed a lot of freshmen, sophomores, and even junior level college students struggle with the basic decision of what career path they really wanted to pursue.  Fundamentally, many of the students shared a common problem.  Because they did not understand what "engineering" was when they were in high school, they did not adequately prepare (both academically and psychologically).  

Again, in 2002 Dr. Wienen delivered similar content to the "robotics" class at a local middle school.  It was that experience that motivated him to finally publish this present curriculum.  He discovered that young students, even middle school aged students, were able to grasp just about any of the fundamental engineering concepts if the presentation was well planned.  It is now Dr. Wienen's belief that if we give this generation of students an honest picture of what real world science and engineering looks like AND we prove to them that they are truly able to succeed in related activities, then we'll open unlimited doors of opportunity for them while securing our nation's place as a leader in the technological world that is tomorrow.

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