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Pittsburg High School

Home of the Pirates

Pittsburg High School

Home of the Pirates
Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering
2019-2020 school year                                                                       Mr. Peña
To students and parents;
I am teaching Aerospace, Engineering (and Robotics) classes here at Pittsburg High School for the past couple of years, after a career of over 4 decades in the aerospace and engineering fields, before obtaining my CA high school CTE teaching credentials in both Engineering and Aerospace (Transportation).
I am looking forward to a great year, meeting lots of wonderful students, and parents.  My room is open to parents who would like to help, observe, or to talk.  Feel free to come by any time.  Just remember to check in at the main office before 3:30PM.  If you want to talk about your child’s progress it would be better to schedule time so I may dedicate my time to your needs.  These Engineering classes are project based and are fun, but can be challenging, due to subject-specific vocabulary, terminology, technology, jargons, etc).
I can be reached at, 1-925-473-2390 ext. 7748 or by email at
  • Be prompt: be in your seat, ready to work when the bell rings daily.
  • Be prepared: Engineering Notebook, pen, pencil, USB Flash Drive, calculator and other supplies brought with you daily.
  • Be respectful (of others, self, and property): use appropriate language, treat items well, use supplies appropriately only, avoid vulgarities and obscenities, and be kind to others.
  • Participate in a positive active manner: showing up is only part of success - be on task and focused during the entirety of class daily. Do your best to learn the subject daily!
  • GRADING:     is based on the following 4 categories:
  • 40%  -  Participation / In Class Work / Project Tasks (Ex: daily progress, handouts, journaling, daily prompts, behavior)
  • 30%  -  Documentation (Ex: weekly Engineering Notebook  collection, digital uploads/submittals, multimedia, written work)
  • 20%  -  Exams / Project Completions (Ex: quizzes, tests, project completion deadlines, final uploads/walkthroughs)
  • 10%  -  Out of Class Work (Ex: homework as assigned, research, finishing assignments, reflections)
  • Students will receive grades each quarter, and progress reports at mid-quarter.
  • The signatures on the last page of this syllabus will be your first night’s homework.  You and your parents need to read this and both student and parent sign and date the bottom.
  • Aerospace Engineering Syllabus
  • Required Materials
    • Students will bring pencils, ball point pen, ruler, protractor and USB FlashDrive.
    • Students will need an Engineering Notebook (with grid/graph line paper sheets), which can be purchased from me for $1.25. This is cheaper than buying at OfficeMax, Office Depot, or Staples.  I bought Notebooks in bulk and am re-selling them at my cost.
    • It is recommended that students have a scientific calculator
    • Students will be using their Engineering Notebooks as journals to keep track of assignments, activities and homework.
    • Printing and copying will be kept to a minimum students will need to take notes in Engineering Notebooks and use USB FlashDrive. Most assignments will be available on line.
    • Students who are struggling with course work will have opportunities after school, lunch for tutoring. All students should pass the class with either an A or B.  I try very hard to reach all of my students and to provide help for those who are struggling.
  • Text Book:  No text book is required
  • The Course:  Aerospace Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering is a college prep elective class.  The curriculum is aligned with the curriculum developed by Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a nationally recognized leader in technology/engineering curriculum.  The course covers the following:
  • Unit 1: Introduction to Aerospace
  • The goal of this unit is to excite students about Aerospace Engineering while providing a foundation of knowledge related to flight. In this unit students explore the rich history of aerospace achievement that advanced the industry. Students are introduced to the physics that allow flight within the atmosphere and the systems which provide safe coordination for aircraft.
  • Unit 2: Aerospace Design
  • The goal of this unit is for students to learn about factors which affect aircraft design. Students develop knowledge and skills in this unit through the use of software design, simulation tools, and hands-on construction of composites.
    Unit 3: Space
  • The goal of this unit is for students to focus on space related-concepts defined in aerospace engineering. Students will learn about the governance of space and the impact of exploration of space. Students learn orbital mechanics and apply these concepts to modeling orbiting systems with software used by aerospace engineers.
  • Unit 4: Alternative Applications
  • The goal of this unit is for students to consider applications of aerospace concepts beyond the design of aircraft and spacecraft and to explore career opportunities in the field of Aerospace Engineering. Students simulate a progression of operations to explore a planet. Students build and operate a remote sensing model to measure a physical terrain like the satellite overflight of an unexplored planet. Students transform the data into a topographical map that students will use to plan an autonomous planetary rover mission. 
  • General Safety Policies
    • Use common sense and maturity
    • Running, throwing or horseplay will not be tolerated
    • Clean up spills immediately
    • Treat all equipment and circuits as live unless proven otherwise
    • Wear approved safety glasses when soldering, drilling, cutting, or using any powered equipment in the workshop/room
    • Wear any additional PPE required for each piece of equipment you are using
    • Connect power supply with the lowest possible voltage setting
    • Disconnect power when connecting Ammeter or Ohmmeter
    • Discharge all capacitors before replacing or testing
    • Watch for exposed leads and short circuits
    • Remove all loose clothing and jewelry when operating machinery
    • Remove all electrically conductive jewelry when working with circuits