In this unit students will investigate types and forms of energy and energy sources. Students will learn about using energy efficiently, energy conservation, and will measure energy using windmill generators. Students will complete one of six career activities. The course content provides one career activity option for each of the six units. In Lesson 2 Sustainable Energy, students will become experts in one type of alternative energy through a group Energy Expo presentation. Teams will be regrouped to solve a specific energy crisis with experts from several areas on the new team. In Lesson 3 Making an Impact, students will conduct a water audit and research the effects of composting, reducing, reusing, and recycling our waste products. In the final project, students will understand the importance of conserving energy and developing efficient alternative energy sources while considering the effects on our environment.

As consumers we are often confronted with lifestyle decisions that could have an impact on our environment. Over the last five years, a lot of emphasis has been placed on going green. In addition to encouraging individuals to change their habits so that the results will be more environmentally friendly, there has also been a push to design buildings to be more green.

Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world. Sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. The goal of sustainability, or ecological design, is to ensure that our actions and decisions today do not inhibit the opportunities of future generations.

This unit begins with students understanding what robots are used for and the effect they have on our lives. Students will experience how a robot receives information through various sources. Students will complete one of six career activities. The course content provides one career activity option for each of the six units. In Lesson 2 Mechanical Systems, students use fischertechniks® components to create mechanical systems and determine their purpose and real-world use. In Lesson 3 Automated Systems, students will use fischertechniks components, sensors, solar cells, fuel cells, and pneumatic components to build, model, and test solutions to automated problems.

This unit begins with students learning how to create and use an engineering notebook. They will use the engineering notebook throughout the GTT course. Students will complete one of six career activities. The course provides one career activity option for each of the six units. In Lesson 1 What is Engineering? students learn the steps of the Design Process and how to use the Design Process to solve problems. Lessons 1 and 2 of this unit should be the first course material covered with students, regardless of what unit is taught first. In Lesson 3 Measuring, students practice using historical and current techniques for measuring in both metric and customary systems and are introduced to precision measuring tools. Lesson 4, Sketching and Dimensioning, teaches students to identify and create thumbnail, perspective, isometric, and orthographic sketches and to dimension them correctly. In Lesson 5 Designing for Production, students use Autodesk® Inventor® to learn how to create 3D models.

This unit begins with students learning about the history of flight through hands-on activities, research, and a presentation in the form of an infomercial. Students will complete one of six career activities. The course content provides one career activity option for each of the six units. In Lesson 2 Aeronautics, students learn the science and art of flying through the air. Students will experience activities related to Newton’s laws, Bernoulli’s principle, wind tunnels, airfoils, and propulsion systems. In Lesson 3 Traveling and Living in Space, students create a timeline on the history of space flight. Students will use Rocket Modeler III to learn about traveling in space. Students will play a serious game, AstroEngineer: Robot Rover, to create robotic rovers that will help the Goliath save astronauts who have crash landed on the moon.

Magic of Electrons begins with Lesson 1 What is Electricity? In this lesson students will learn the difference between a conductor and an insulator, how to measure current, voltage, and resistance, and how to convert energy into electricity. Students will design and build models of an electromagnet, a DC motor, and a generator. In Lesson 2 Electronics, students will learn how to model an electrical circuit using Snap Circuits. They will learn how to identify electrical components by their symbols and how to create and read a schematic diagram. Students will breadboard, test, and build a night light circuit. Lesson 3 Digital Electronics introduces students to the digital world of cell phones, computers, MP3 devices, and many other modern conveniences that rely on binary digits and logic gates. Students will solve several logic problems using Snap Circuits.

This unit begins with Lesson 1 Applied Chemistry, where students will have the opportunity to solve problems similar to those that a chemical engineer would experience. Students will make and test the characteristics of ice cream or yogurt. Then they will make and test the qualities of glue. Finally, students will clean up an oil spill. Lesson 2 Nanotechnology will teach students how to manipulate objects at the nano scale and how material properties change at this scale. Students will identify how nanotechnology impacts electronics, materials, manufacturing, energy, environment, health, medicine, national security, and space exploration to name a few. In Lesson 3 Applied Physics, students will identify simple machines and determine their appropriate use and mechanical advantage. They will learn about energy, energy conservation, and potential and kinetic energy by designing, building, and testing a model roller coaster. Students will then learn about systems and subsystems and have the opportunity to create one of the following products: Rube Goldberg device, Dragster, or VEX Amusement Park Ride.

This is the 2nd semester PLTW GTT course at Lake Shore and Steffen Middle School.