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.