Engineering Design and Development™

Engineering Design and Development: Structural Solutions

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

Prerequisite: B- or better in EDD, and a B- or better in the mathematical activities as presented by the instructor throughout EDD.

The Engineering Field Experience (EFE) course requires that students (AM section only) travel two days per week to Lee’s Summit City Hall and the Public Works Engineering Department. The engineering staff at HDR travel to STA two days per week. LSPW department assigns a city infrastructure project to the AM students. HDR provides instruction on the essentials of wastewater treatment plant design. Students will learn the fundamental concepts of structures, and fluid mechanics, which will be applied directly to the projects for LSPW and HDR. Watch the video at the right 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.

Recommended Math and Engineering Proficiency:

Average Math and Engineering grade: B- or higher; Pre-calculus (completed or concurrent enrollment) OR Physics with a B or higher

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

High School Credits: 3 units (2 semesters)

LSR7 Weighted: .666

NON Lee’s Summit Schools Weighted Credit: Varies by school

College Dual Credit: ENGR 101 from WSU

Student Testimonial

“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 

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Engineering Design and Development

Learner Profile

AP + PLTW Combined Pathway - Designed for AP Students

Click play to hear about one of our student’s success stories!

Engineering Scholarship Opportunity with Lockheed Martin - $30 million in scholarships for students in STEM!

Lockheed Martin has launched a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) scholarship program for high school and college undergraduate students planning to pursue a major in engineering and computer science. Beginning in 2019, the Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship program will award a $10,000 annual scholarship to 200 recipients who demonstrate financial need and come from underrepresented or underserved communities. Recipients may renew the scholarship up to three times for a total potential value of $40,000 per student.

Additional Project Lead the Way college credit and scholarship opportunities

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Engineering Design and Development™

Course Syllabus

Engineering Field Experience

Course Syllabus
Dr. Paul Rutherford
Instructor: Engineering Design & Development
Phone: 816-986-3437

Read Dr. Rutherford’s article

CTE leading the way for students from February, 2015

Dr. Rutherford's Bio

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 20th 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.