This past year, 61 Rockhurst students experienced the new Principles of Engineering course. Using a project-based learning approach, students engage in hands-on learning as they learn concepts in physics, computer science, and engineering. This year, the final project consisted of students building a marble sorting machine. Students also experienced student learning experiences ranging from truss building competitions to robot races. In addition to these projects, every student also taxes an end of course exam to demonstrate their proficiency in the engineering content.

Mr. Wilson, POE instructor, is setting up the device to measure the strength of the student trusses.

Engineering students are testing the strenght of their constructed truss. Student teams compete to build the strongest truss and video tape (student in back is using his phone as a video camera) the truss collapsing to rewatch in slow motion to identify weak points.

Principles of Engineering (POE) is based off of the curriculum from Project Lead the Way (PLTW). More and more schools are offering college credit for PLTW courses, including POE. Recently partnering with AP College board, future Rockhurst students will be eligible to earn the AP + PLTW student recognition. The qualification demonstrates to college and employers that the student is ready for advanced coursework and is interested in careers in the engineering pathway. To earn the recognition, students must complete POE as well as two of the following AP courses: AP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry or AP Physics.