Instructional Materials


The major goals of this course are as follows:

Goal 1. Students will develop a deep and rich understanding of the term "technology." Students learn that the technologies we take for granted — TVs and DVDs, refrigerators and furnaces, the food on our dinner plates, cars and power plants — were created by people through "the engineering design process."

Goal 2. Students develop their abilities to use the engineering design process. Students take on the role of engineers themselves and apply the engineering design process to define and solve problems by inventing and improving products, processes, and systems.

Goal 3. Students will understand the complementary relationships among science, mathematics, technology and engineering. By learning about the work of practicing engineers, students get an "insider's view" of how engineers apply mathematical skills and scientific knowledge to solve problems and meet human needs and desires.

Goal 4. Students will understand how advances in technology affect human society, and how human society determines which new technologies will be developed. Students learn through a variety of examples how everyone is affected by changes in technology and how people influence future technological development by the choices they make as workers, consumers, and citizens.

Goal 5. Students will be able to apply fundamental concepts about energy to a wide variety of problems. The concept of energy is fundamental to all of the sciences, but it is also challenging to learn. So as to build a useful mental model of energy, students will learn to apply the same energy principles to thermal, fluid, and electrical systems.


Students can work to achieving these goals through completing the projects and activities in the Engineer's Notebook, and by reading about practicing engineers in their Textbook. Textbooks, Engineer's Notebooks and Teacher's Guides for this course are available from Key Curriculum Press. We recommend that you purchase one textbook and one set of all four Engineer's Notebooks for each student. The section below contains samples of the both the Engineer's Notebook and Textbook.

Textbook: The textbook for this course is unusual, in that it is written in the first person by practicing engineers. Men and women from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds describe what it is like to practice their profession, and how they came to do what they do. The "narrators" also explore important concepts pertaining to their work. The textbook is divided into four sections, corresponding to the four projects of the course. Each story communicates important concepts in the technology and engineering standards and highlights especially important ideas. The Teacher's Guide lists ideas for discussion in the appropriate sections.

To see sample pages, click to download the PDF file below

Engineer's Notebook: Students will receive a unique 3-hole-punched workbook referred to as the "Engineer's Notebook" that mimics the way that engineers and designers progress through projects, scheduling tasks, and recording their research, designs and conclusions. The notebook aids in the illustration of background science and math connections to each design challenge. The engineering design process for each challenge is clearly laid out, with space for students' brainstorming and design notations.

To see sample pages, click to download the PDF files below

Teacher's Guide: The Teacher's Guide is divided into four parts corresponding to the four student projects. Each part begins with an overview of the entire unit and the learning objectives for each activity and discussion. Suggested week-by-week lesson plans include short activities and discussions designed to help students develop certain skills and concepts that are then integrated through a major project. Most of the major projects are developed by teams of students in a manner parallel to the way that engineers work in industry. It is important to follow the project tasks in the order suggested, since concepts and skills build on each other and those learned in a prior project are further elaborated and practiced in later projects.

To see sample pages, click to download the PDF file below

Supplies and equipment: The cost of supplies and equipment — which need to be purchased in addition to the books — is a little more difficult to calculate since it depends on what is already available, and the cost of local materials. Initially it will be necessary to purchase one set of durable equipment, which can be used for any number of classes, provided they are not taught at the same time. Additional consumable materials will need to be purchased for additional classes. In subsequent years, only consumable materials need to be replaced, as well as any durable items that may have been lost or damaged.

To see a general overview of materials needed by Project, source and amount, click to download the PDF file below.

Multimedia: A video presentation of curriculum information and Project teaching tips is available to all teachers, specifically tailored to the Engineering the Future Program.