9th Grade: Introduction to Engineering & Design

PLTW: Introduction to Engineering Design Course

Puzzle Cube Design Challenge

What is PLTW?
Engineering Students Become Tomorrow's Problem Solvers Today

From launching space explorations to delivering safe, clean water to communities, engineers find solutions to pressing problems and turn their ideas into reality. PLTW Engineering empowers students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers. The program’ s courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges that help them become better collaborators and thinkers. Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.  

PLTW Engineering courses are part of the AP + PLTW engineering pathway.


For more information, please visit the PLTW site found at the link below:

About PLTW Engineering


Throughout the PLTW Engineering course, students engage in open-ended, industry-standard, engineering-based problem solving. They learn the engineering design process, and become proficient in the very same industry-leading technology and software used by the world’s top companies! Students dig deep as they apply the engineering design process, principles, and standards, developing their creativity and critical thinking skills along the way. They work both individually and in teams, using old and new math and science concepts, to design solutions to a variety of real-world problems. Through this hands-on approach, they master graphic communication skills (such as concept sketching and 3D modeling), STEM research techniques, and how to effectively document their engineered solutions and ideas. 

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 The PLTW Canvas Course:

All students will access the course via an online learning management site called Canvas. This online environment will deliver ALL course material, texts, assignments, tests, grades, and more! Knowing how to navigate and use the Canvas LMS will be necessary and crucial to meet basic classroom requirements, and will make learning efficient and convenient as well for students. Furthermore, parents will be able to view and participate in their child's learning, anytime, anywhere. Please visit the Canvas training at the tab on the left.

PLTW IED Required Materials 2020-21

Students will be accessing and submitting signed copies of the course syllabus as a first assignment via Canvas. The activity is part of a larger initial assignment designed to help students and parents become familiar with the PLTW Canvas course. However, students and parents will find some core highlights from the syllabus attached below. 

Required Materials: 

      1. Engineer's Notebook: This is a BOUND composition notebook consisting primarily of 1/4" graph paper. Attached below are some example products that are acceptable. Official engineer's notebooks are nice because they include Table of Contents, and title blocks on each page for signature and date. Also they are less likely to have pages come loose.



  2. Pencils, erasers and pens. Mechanical pencils, a set of drawing/sketching pencils with various weight leads is preferable. Decent erasers (a kneadable type is great also). A good quality ink pen or two will be necessary. 

  3. A decent sized flash drive is highly recommended, though not required. Students not saving and losing work is a serious problem every year. Students WILL be required to redo work that is lost which can be frustrating, and for big projects, can be devastating. However, saving on the computer AND One Drive can be sufficient. 
   4. Other highly recommended items:
  -small straight edge ruler and/or protractor
-sae/metric ruler combo
- colored pencils
-glue stick and transparent tape
-small manual pencil sharpener (or 2, one for colored pencils)
-circle and ellipse templates
-their own dial or digital calipers (again, this is optional, as calipers can be expensive)

Basic Classroom Policies and Grading Scheme:

Grading Policy

Initial Grading will take place in the PLTW LMS often and imported into Powerschool’s Gradebook as often as possible.

Formative and summative assessments are a part of every class at Nesbitt Discovery Academy; final grades are based on a ten point system as follows:


Engineer's Notebook: 30%

Projects and Activities: 30%

Tests & Quizzes 30%




Grading Scale:

90– 100: A

80 – 89: B

70– 79: C

60 – 69: D

0 – 59: F


Attendance Policy

Students are only allowed five (5) absences per each semester. To be counted present in a class, the student must be in class for 2/3 of the class period.  Students are responsible for making up any days past the allotted 5 absences per semester.  For information about excused and unexcused absences, please refer to the student handbook.


Make-up Policy

The following procedure will apply to all courses:

After any absence, it will be the student’s responsibility to check with his/her teacher outside of class time for work missed and to schedule a time to make up all work including tests.

Projects and work assigned before absences should be turned in as soon as student returns to school.

If a student is absent for one (1) day, he/she will have two (2) days to make up homework, missed assignments and tests assigned during his/her absence.

If a student is absent two (2) or three (3) days, he/she will have four (4) days to make up homework, missed assignments and tests during his/her absence.

If a student is absent four (4) or more days, he/she will meet with each teacher for an individual arrangement for all make-up work.

For more information on attendance make-up if absent for more than six (6) days, please refer to the student handbook.


Classroom Norms & Expectations

Nesbitt Discovery Academy follows PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) guidelines in accordance with the US Department of Education.   All students are expected to:

BE RESPECTFUL:  arrive on time; exhibit polite, kind, and professional conduct with instructor and peers; respect others’ ideas.

BE RESPONSIBLE: work safely; keep organized; know when things are due and submit assignments and projects on time; contribute to your team equally and enthusiastically.

BE READY: know the course agenda, arrive prepared to work, cells on silent and away, focus on the task at hand.

NDA IED Students will endeavor to build their personal engagement and ownership of their involvement of their learning. They will endeavor to increase their creativity, communication, organization, and time management skills. IED students will be receptive to positive feedback, and willing to adjust their approach to their learning as needed. IED students will be flexible and open to change, improvement, and growth. 

IED 2020 21 Syllabus
Bachmeyer IED Syllabus 2020 21.pdf