Engineering the Future: Science, Technology, and the Design Process™ is a full-year course designed to introduce students to the world of technology and engineering, as a first step in becoming technologically literate citizens. Additionally, the course will help beginning high school students answer the question: "Why should I study math, science and engineering if I don't plan on a technical career?" Through this course's practical real-world connections, students have an opportunity to see how science, mathematics, and engineering are part of their every day world, and why it is important for every citizen to be technologically and scientifically literate.

Engineering the Future maps directly to the Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA 2000), Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS 1993) and National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996), as well as many state science frameworks.

In brief, the course is intended to help today's high school students understand the ways in which they will engineer the world of the future — whether or not they choose to pursue technical careers.

Please click here to learn more about the importance of Technological Literacy and the projects for Engineering the Future students.

Course Overview

Instructional materials for Engineering the Future include an Engineer's Notebook and Textbook for each student, and a Teacher Guide. These materials can be ordered from It's About Time ®.

The Engineer's Notebook guides students in their day-to-day activities. It provides detailed instructions and datasheets for design challenges and supporting activities, as well as rubrics so that students will understand how their work will be evaluated. The Notebook is divided into four booklets for the four major projects of the course. Each booklet is punched so it can be inserted into a 3-hole binder, and pages are perforated so that a task can be neatly torn out, stapled, and given to the teacher for assessment.

The Textbook is written from the viewpoint of a variety of practicing engineers. Thirty-two men and women from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds tell what it's like to practice their profession, and how they came to do what they do. Through these first-person stories students learn important concepts that relate to their own design projects.

Assessment Tools for this course include:

In-class Assessments. The Task Outlines suggest ways to lead discussion and observe student work to help you determine how well students are learning, and make appropriate course corrections.

Project Rubrics. Rubrics for assessing individual and team performance on creative engineering design tasks are included in the Engineer's Notebook, so that students can see how their work will be evaluated.

End-of-Unit Tests. This Teacher Guide includes four Project Tests, which you can administer to your students after each quarter of the course.

The most important element of the course is you, the teacher. Your understanding of the content, your enthusiasm for the subject, and your ability to engage your students in creative and analytic thinking are by far the most important resources at your command.

This program was made possible through grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust, Lockheed Martin, Cisco Systems, Inc., National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Highland Street Foundation.