Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) is a high school engineering course in the PLTW Engineering Program. In IED, students explore engineering tools and apply a common approach to the solution of engineering problems, an engineering design process. Utilizing the activity-project-problem-based (APB) teaching and learning pedagogy, students progress from completing structured activities to solving open-ended projects and problems that require them to plan, document, communicate, and develop other professional skills.
Through both individual and collaborative team activities, projects, and problems, students apply systems thinking and consider various aspects of engineering design including material selection, human-centered design, manufacturability, assemblability and sustainability. Students develop skills in technical representation and documentation especially through 3D computer modeling using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) application. As part of the design process, students produce precise 3D-printed engineering prototypes using an additive manufacturing process. Student-developed testing protocols drive decision-making and iterative design improvements.
To inform design and problem solutions addressed in IED, students apply computational methods to inform design by developing algorithms, performing statistical analyses, and developing mathematical models. Students build competency in professional engineering practices including project management, peer review, and environmental impact analysis as part of a collaborative design team. Ethical issues related to professional practice and product development are also presented.
Instructor: Stephanie Bartolotta
Stephanie Bartolotta teaches Introduction to Engineering and Design and is a graduate of Arcadia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Stephanie holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rider University and has been teaching at High Tech High School since 2019. Stephanie's goal in the classroom is to have students actively engage in the learning process by using their own curiosity and creativity to apply knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems. For the past five years prior to joining the High Tech High School staff, Ms. Bartolotta taught at the middle- and high-school level in both New Jersey and Arizona. Outside the classroom, Stephanie enjoys running, reading and traveling.