"It is the mission of Harwood Union High School to provide an educational and creative environment in which every person is valued as an individual, challenged as a learner and inspired to contribute to a democratic society. As a professional learning organization of all academic departments, we are prepared to work together in order to provide a unique and personalized learning experience for all students."

STEM Education (Science, Technology Engineering and Math)

  • Non-Approved NCAA Course

Each STEM course will have the following Learning Goals and Methods of Assessments.

What will you Learn?

Using the engineering design process, students will learn to:

  • Define and delimit engineering problems
  • Develop and use models and prototypes
  • Plan and carry out investigations
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Use mathematics and computational thinking
  • Design and develop possible solutions
  • Optimize design solutions
  • Engage in argument using evidence
  • Obtain, evaluate and communicate information

Students will learn to understand and analyze:

  • The basic thermodynamic principles of engines
  • the structures and functions of internal combustion engines
  • hydraulic principles and applications
  • Industry defined mechanical power problem

How will you be Assessed?

  • Learning scales, self assessment, and teacher feedback will be provided for formative assessments which will include class assignments and homework.
  • Department rubrics will be used to assess summative performance tasks - formal activities, tests, and/or projects .


Mechanical Power (642)   1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

Mechanical Power is a class that examines the ways in which power is generated by the use of mechanical means. This class will focus on internal combustion engines (spark ignition and compression ignition), external combustion engines (steam), hybrid and electric motors for transportation, AC and DC traction motors, hydrogen power for transportation, Stirling motors, and jet and rocket engines. This class will also include the study of transmission of power through the use of gears, pulleys, and belts, and the theory and use of hydraulics to transmit and multiply power.

Practical exercises will include:

  • Rebuilding a single cylinder gasoline engine
  • Design and construction of hydraulic robots
  • Building and launching model solid fuel rockets

This course will contain a combination of academic and hands-on exercises to demonstrate the principles that are being studied.


Product Design and Creation (636)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

Product Design and Creation is a class that will examine the process of manufacturing from the initial conception of an idea through the design and production, to the marketing of the final product. Topics that will be addressed in this class include: The process of invention, the history of manufacturing from the industrial revolution to the present day, types of manufacturing processes, assembly lines and how they operate, a study of materials to include both the traditional materials and the new emerging materials used in manufacturing, robots and their use in manufacturing processes, work flow and solving manufacturing challenges, the part that manufacturing plays in the economy of the US and how outsourcing is affecting the future of employment in the US.

This class will contain a combination of academics and hands-on exercises that will demonstrate the principles that are being studied.


Electricity & Electronics (634)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

  • Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Algebra I Math

Electricity and Electronics is an introductory class that will examine direct current (DC) electricity.  Topics that will be addressed include: Batteries and the nature of matter, DC circuits, series circuits, parallel circuits, combination circuits, Ohm’s Law, the concept of electrical power, magnetism and its use in electrical devices, generators and the production of DC electricity, DC motors, transistors, printed circuit boards and digital circuits. Also included will be an introduction to Arduino microcontrollers, basic coding, and the building of electronics devices.  This class will contain a combination of academics and hands-on exercises that will demonstrate the principles being studied.


Robotics (167)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

Using robots students will cover the fundamentals of problem solving, program design, algorithms and programming using a high-level language. A robot is an embedded system of software and hardware. Programming and building robots applies science technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of programming, robotics, linkage theory, kinematic geometry, Boolean logic, circuit design and the physics of planer and non-planer motion.


Inventions of the World (638)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

Inventions of the World is a class that will examine the different disciplines that exist within the engineering profession. Students will be presented with practical design problems that they will be expected to solve. This class will take an integrated approach, combining invention, design, and drafting of plans through the use of computer-aided design and drafting programs. Students will then construct their designs in the shop and these designs will be tested for conformance with the project performance specifications.

Units studied will include:

  • Catapults and trebuchets
  • Caravels and Celestial Navigation
  • Steam power and the Industrial Revolution
  • Airplanes and aerodynamics
  • Rocket and spacecraft design and flight
  • “Rube Goldberg” type machines to solve a given design problem


App Design (663)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra I Math

Mobile App Design is a course where students learn computer science by building socially useful mobile apps. In addition to programming and computer science principles, the course is project-based and emphasizes writing, communication, collaboration, and creativity.  Students will utilize the MIT App Inventor to learn how to make functioning apps on the Android operating system.  This course culminates with a student-derived project that identifies a need within the community and develops an app that addresses that need.


Electrical Power and Energy (643)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra I Math

Electrical Power and Energy is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) class that examines the ways in which electrical power is generated and distributed. This class will explore the technology, economics, sustainability, environmental impacts, and controversies surrounding each generation method. The class will also include a discussion of future methods of generating electric power. The curriculum for this class will include:

  • The history of electric power generation
  • The generation of electricity by means of:
  • Use of coal and coal gasification
  • Nuclear power generation (fission, fusion, and cold fusion)
  • Natural gas
  • Hydroelectricity
  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Wave and tidal power
  • Geothermal

Practical exercises include:

  • The construction and testing of model wind turbines;
  • The construction and testing of model solar arrays.
  • This course will contain a combination of academic and hands-on exercises to demonstrate the principles that are being studied.


Engineering Sustainability (668)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra I Math

Students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply issues, and renewable energy. Applying their knowledge through hands-on activities and simulations, students research and design potential solutions to these true-to-life challenges


Game Design (664)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra I Math

Game Design is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) course that is designed to advance the student's knowledge of game design through project-based learning.  The fundamental concepts learned in this course are basic programming, logical reasoning, and the iterative design process.  Students will begin by navigating through guided tutorials and learning the process of building games.  After learning the various skills that go into building games students will spend the bulk of the remaining course building unique games that test and enhance different coding skills. Following the original games, students learn the components of how gaming is used in the "real" world, what goes into designing good games, what separates good games from bad games, the gaming and engineering design cycle, and fundamental coding concepts.


Introduction to Engineering Design (669)    1/2 credit Math or Unified Arts

In PLTW Engineering, students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as are used in the world’s top companies. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as sustainability, mechatronics, forces, structures, aerodynamics, digital electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and the environment, which gives them an opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines before beginning post-secondary education or careers.