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Pittsburg High School

Home of the Pirates

Pittsburg High School

Home of the Pirates
Principles of Engineering

Principles of Engineering

Principles of 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.
  • Principles of 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 a journals to keep track of work, assignments and homework.
    • Printing and copying will be kept to a minimum students will need to take notes. Most assignments will be available on line via
    • Students who are struggling with course work will have opportunities after school, lunch or on an occasional Saturday 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:  Principles of Engineering
  • POE 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. In addition, this POE class is articulate with ENGIN-010 at  Los Medanos College (i.e. college credit) 
  • The course is covers the following:
    • Design Process
    • Simple Machines and mechanisms
    • Mechanical advantage
    • Statics, Truss Design, Bridge Design
    • Ohm’s law, parallel and series circuits
    • How to use sensors to collect data and program machines to use the data to do useful work
    • Robot fundamentals
    • Pneumatics: compressed air to operate mechanisms
    • Kinematics: Ballistics
  • 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