This is a full-year engineering research course in which students work on two major engineering projects, as well as a researchtopic during the year.

Fall Semester Student design teams work on an open-ended problem in which they research, design, and construct a solution. Students apply principles developed in the four preceding PLTW courses, learn advanced physics and mathematical applications, and are guided by engineering mentors. Design teams must present progress reports, submit a final written report, and defend their solutions to a panel of Kansas City area engineering professionals at the end of the fall semester.

Spring Semester  The Engineering Field Experience (EFE) course requires that students (AM section only) travel two days per week Lee’s Summit City Hall, Public Works Engineering Department.  The engineering staff at HDR travel to STA on two days per week. It is the goal of these organizations to provide students with real, on-going or planned infrastructure (roads, traffic, waste-water conveyance, rainwater runoff, etc.) projects. Students will learn the fundamentals structures, fluid statics, and dynamics, which will be applied directly to the projects for LSPW and HDR. Watch this video in which students share their experience in this one of a kind class!


  • Grade: 12 ONLY
  • 2.5 GPA (Unweighted)
  • Algebra II with a B or better
  • Physics with a B or better
  • Attendance 90%
  • Outside class Internet access is required.

PLTW Member School Prerequisites:

  • Completion of one of the following: Digital Electronics, CIM, or CEA with C or better
  • Intro to Engineering Design AND Principles of Engineering with a B or better


  • Pre-calculus (completed or concurrent enrollment)

Credits: 3 units (2 semesters)

LSR7 Weighted: .666

Project Lead the Way College Credit/Scholarship Opportunities: click here

AP Courses + PLTW Combined Pathway-Designed for AP Students

For the Engineering Design & Development course syllabus, click here

For the Engineering Field Experience course syllabus, click here

For Learner Profile click here



Dr. Paul Rutherford

Engineering Design/Develop

Dr. Paul M. Rutherford earned a B.S. in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia(1978), a B.S. and M.S. in Science Education (physics emphasis) from the University of Central Missouri(1984 & 1993), and a Ph.D. in Science Education (physics emphasis) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City(1999). He is starting his 28th year teaching. He is in his 16th year at STA having opened the school in its first year as the only instructor in 1999. He came to STA from the Shawnee Mission School District where he was a teacher of mathematics and physics. Prior to teaching, Dr. Rutherford was a aircraft maintenance/engineering duty officer in the United States Navy. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia and speaks conversational –level French. In 2004, Dr. Rutherford initiated Project Lead The Way in the Lee’s Summit School District teaching its capstone course, Engineering Design and Development (EDD). Dr. Rutherford teaches for the School of Education and Engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a published author in the field of physics education. In 2003, Dr. Rutherford received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.

To read Dr. Rutherford’s February, 2015 Techniques article regarding CTE leading the way for students, click here

  • Email Dr. Paul Rutherford at paul.rutherford@lsr7.net
  • Tel: 816-986-3437


“As a freshman at the University of Missouri, I feel that many things have helped prepare me to work towards a degree in engineering. But, few have helped prepare me as much as Engineering Design and Development or EDD. Although, at times, trig may seem monotonous and the math may seem extensive, just trust Doc when he tells you that in the end, things will pay off. The class has not only helped prepare me for college but has given me a step ahead of the competition.” Derrick Price, MU Freshman