• Iroquois High School

    Course: Principals of Engineering - 20 weeks 

    Instructor: Mr. Ruffino

    Phone: 716-652-3000 – ext: 7159


    (grades 10-12)



    A 1/2-unit integrative, hands-on, laboratory-based course which introduces students to concepts of engineering (ethics, design, modeling, optimization systems, technology/society interactions). These concepts are applied to solving problems contained in the "real world" case studies. Case study abstracts relate to auto safety computer automation and control, energy, communications, structural design and designing technology for people with disabilities.




    The major Engineering Concepts to be developed are:

    2. SYSTEMS
    5. DESIGN
    6. ETHICS 


    Performance Objectives Related to Concepts

    Upon completion of the set of Case Studies involved in the course, students will be competent in:



    1. Use of words, pictures, and mathematics to describe a system.
    2. Manipulation of models of systems through the use of apparatus, computer simulations, and mock-ups.



    1. Describing a system in terms of input and output.
    2. Explaining and demonstrating how a specific system is made up of sub-systems.
    3. Demonstrating how a system is controlled through feedback.
    4. Contrasting open and closed-loop systems.



    1. Explaining the consequences involved in trade-off situations.
    2. Setting criteria in real-world decision-making situations.
    3. Explaining how constraints often conflict with the ability to meet the desired outcome in decision-making situations.
    4. Developing the ability to use techniques such as applying algorithms and appropriate trial and error in making decisions.
    5. Using cost-benefit analysis and cost-effective analysis in making decisions. Cost is considered as the human, societal, political environment, as well as economic. 



    1. Applying the system of technology assessment regarding the future impact on society of the application of specific technologies.
    2. Describing the process of considering alternative approaches to the solution of technological society's problems. These alternatives to fit into the categories of:

                  1) Education (behavior modification).

                  2) Legislation (rules and laws).

                  3) Technological fixes (applying technology to the solution of a problem).

    1. Actually getting involved in voluntary activities such as lobbying, recycling, and/or developing a technological fix in a real world situation.



    1. Participating in the design process.
    2. Considering human and environmental factors in the design of a system or device.
    3. Applying design principles such as form and function, color, balance, unity, etc. in the design process.
    4. Selecting appropriate materials when designing.
    5. Considering the effect of production capabilities, marketing, time, and cost in designing a product.



    1. Considering the legal and professional responsibilities of contractual agreements and activities.
    2. Exhibiting social responsibility by considering the:

                 1) Benefit or risk to society.

                 2) Benefit or risk to individuals.

                 3) Environmental risk

                 4) Long term vs. short term risk and gains in making decisions. 

    1. Being aware of the moral dilemmas involved in employment.

                 1) Do you blow the whistle on your employer even at the risk of losing your job?

                 2) How do you weigh the benefit vs. risk in making a decision? 


    Potential Projects:

    All projects are subject to change.

    • Mini Trebuchet - September

    • Mini Hydraulic Arm - October

    • Marshmallow Cannon - November

    • Wind Power - December

    • Prosthetic Arm or Leg - January


    Case Studies:

    • Tacoma Washington Bridge - September

    • Chernobyl - October

    • Hoverboard - November

    • Magnet Balls Manipulative Magnet Sets - December


    Material Needs:

    USB drive

    The class consists of projects, classwork, and case studies:


    Projects: are hands-on assignments that involve a design project with constraints that are looking for a creative solution. You will be researching, sketching, planning, designing, developing, and testing, your solution. When the project requires to be teams, each team needs to log the days work and who did what that given day. Projects are 50% of your grade.


    Classwork: Case Studies -  are assigned to guide, worksheets about individual situations in engineering that you will need to read and interrupt provided information. This is an open-ended display of information about your findings. Case studies are 30% of your grade.


    Participation / Attendance: Being in class and working in a team is an essential part of the class. Each project will require a work log on what each student complete that day within their team. This area is 30% of your grade 


    End of Course Final Assessment: at the end of the course you will be given a culminating project that involves everything you have learned within the course. It will encompass hands-on work, computer work, and written work. Subject to change.

    Course Requirements and Grading: 

    The course grade will be based on individual projects, writing assignments, quizzes, a portfolio, and a final exam. The final grade will be determined using the following weights: 

    Projects = 40%

    Classwork = 30%

    Participation / Attendance = 30%