Engineering Design – Mr. Holthouse & Mr. Jibson

Class Policies and Expectations 2013-14

Welcome to Engineering! This serves as our formal introduction to the class – how we’ll try to learn a lot and, we expect, have fun doing so.

…you need in class EVERY DAY:

·         TI-83 Plus calculator (or the moral equivalent)

·         A Lab Journal – a bound journal book, not a loose-leaf

·         AT LEAST 2 sharpened pencils, or a reliable mechanical one with spare lead

·         An eraser (may be combined with a pencil)

…you''ll probably want at home:

·         A computer with MS-Word and Excel, with high-speed access to the internet. Note that a lot of the software used in this course (and for engineering in general) is only available on Windows, not Mac OS-X. You can use Bootcamp as we do with the computers in the lab if all you have is a Mac but you’ll need to buy and install Windows.

Grading and Assessment

Much of the work in the class, as in the Real World of engineering, is done in teams. Also as in the Real World, much of your assessment depends not just on you, but on how well your team accomplishes your joint objectives. Finally, as in the RW, you seldom get a lot of choice as to who’s on your team. We will mix up the teams quite a bit over the course of the semester. About 40-45% of your grade will come from team projects, where everyone on the team gets the same grade for the project. While some of these projects have a competitive aspect to them, they are NOT graded on a curve (OK, so maybe that’s not quite like the RW) – every project team can earn an A, and every one could theoretically get an F. There will be also be smaller individual lab assignments and projects; these will count for 20-25% of your grade. Overall, project work will account for about 60-70% of your grade. The grade for the project will usually include evaluation of your project documents (plans, presentations, work logs, test results, and post-project reviews) as well as the physical result.

Homework assignments will be made periodically throughout the semester and will account for about 15-20% of your grade. You may work with others on these problems, but you must turn in your own complete solutions, and list the names of anyone with whom you worked.  Some homework may be handwritten, but all work must be clear and legible. Many problems will require graph paper for creating drawings to scale. Hand-drawn axes with tick-marks are NOT acceptable. Print-outs from Excel or a drawing program are excellent.

Reading assignments will also count as homework. For each reading assignment, you will contribute to a Canvas online glossary, "question bank", and/or discussion. The glossary contains vocabulary words and definitions in the engineering context in which they were used; the question bank contains multiple choice or short answer questions, with answers, that are answered in the readings. The best of these will end up on quizzes.

There will be about 5 quizzes during the year to assess your individual understanding of key engineering principles. These will count for about 15-20% of your grade. You will be able to use your Lab Journal for these quizzes. Note that you will NOT be allowed to use your submitted homework; you should make sure any key information or examples you want from your homework are also in your Lab Journal.

If you are taking this course for Level 1 (Honors) credit, you will also have some take-home quizzes. These must be done individually, without consulting any other humans. For some assignments and projects, there will also be more difficult “Level 1” work to accomplish. Together, this additional work will count for that extra 0.50 on your GPA, and the word "Honors" on your transcript. If you are taking the course at Level 2, you can do any of this Level 1 work for extra credit, but you can’t get more than a 4.0 for your GPA.

The letter grading scales are:








































Academic Integrity

Integrity and honesty in engineering are not optional – they are the essence of a professional engineer. The National Society of Professional Engineers Code of Ethics requires that we be “honest and impartial, and serve with fidelity our employers and clients”. So, we will take the Academic Integrity Policy of WHS very seriously.

The WHS Handbook defines plagiarism as “the act of taking and using as one’s own work another’s published or unpublished ideas and/or writings”. In general, we encourage you to research your projects in the library and on the web. However, any designs, analyses or other creative work and ideas which you use from these sources MUST be clearly identified, and the sources cited, whether or not you use them directly, by paraphrase, or only in concept. It does not matter whether the work you use appears to be copyrighted or not: unless you cite your source, you are representing someone else’s work as your own. If in doubt, reference the appropriate part of your design or document and cite the source – even if it’s your father or mother!

Similarly, academic dishonesty is “an action intended to obtain or assist in obtaining credit for work which is not one’s own”. Asking previous students of the class about, or otherwise receiving copies of or information concerning, their designs, examinations, papers, or other course material is strictly prohibited.

Class Web Site

The class web site at is the primary source of course information. This provides you:

- a summary of the topics covered in class each day
- links to current project and homework assignments on Canvas
- upcoming test dates and topics
- pointers to some sites that offer extension, alternate presentations, or more depth on our topics

The course uses Canvas for most assignments, even those you submit in paper form. The web site will links to the assignments on Canvas, and the due date is in Canvas so you can have it pop up on your Google calendar if you want.  If there is a technical problem with Canvas that prevents you from submitting an assignment on time, you must email your teacher, or only if email is also not working, leave a voice mail on his school phone BEFORE the deadline if you want to be able to receive full credit for the assignment. 

If You are Absent

It is your responsibility to find out about and make up work you missed using the web site and/or your colleagues. School policy is that you have two days to make up work for each day absent, but work due (or quizzes or tests on the first day you were absent) must be made up immediately upon your return. In any case, you must arrange to discuss your plan for making up the working within 2 days of your return.

Extra Help

MrH is available almost every day except Wednesday after school until 3:00 or later in the Project Lab. Feel free to drop in anytime, and unless he's working with another student or otherwise tied up, he'll be happy to work with you. If you want to make sure you have his undivided attention, please send an email the day before with when you’d like to meet, and he’ll hold that time for you on a first-come, first-served basis. If you send an email, he’ll try to confirm back to you the night before.  You’re also welcome to send an email anytime with a question on an assignment.  He may not always be able to answer it effectively via return mail, and we don’t just give out answers, but have been known to provide the occasional hint.

Professionalism on the Web

Assume that everything you post to a discussion, add to a collaboration, send in a message, or contribute in any way online will be reviewed by the admissions committee of your first-choice college, and the person who is thinking of hiring you for your dream job. So, before you hit Send, picture those people, and edit as necessary. This is a good guideline for Facebook and other social media too, OBTW.