Civil Engineering and Architecture


PLTW Civil Engineering & Architecture

Course Syllabus

Spring 2016

Instructor:      Mr. Noel A. De La Cruz, B.S.E.E.                                 Classroom:      Room #B236  

Phone:            956-580-5300 x4166                                       E-Mail:   

Office Hours (tutoring):  Tuesday & Thursday 4:00-4:45pm or by appointment.


Required Course Material:  

1 - Composition Notebook (Quad-ruled/graph paper),

1 - 1” 3 ring binder

1 - Pair of earphones for pc audio listening.

Paper, pencil/pen on a daily basis.

Students must show material to instructor by Monday, August 29th, 2015.

 PLTW – Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA)  

Course Description 

Civil Engineering and Architecture is the study of the design and construction of residential and commercial building projects. The course includes an introduction to many of the varied factors involved in building design and construction including building components and systems, structural design, storm water management, site design, utilities and services, cost estimation, energy efficiency, and careers in the design and construction industry. 

The major focus of the CEA course is to expose students to the design and construction of residential and commercial building projects, design teams and teamwork, communication methods, engineering standards, and technical documentation.

Utilizing the activity-project-problem-based (APPB) teaching and learning pedagogy, students will analyze, design and build electronic and physical models of residential and commercial facilities.  While implementing these designs students will continually hone their interpersonal skills, creative abilities and understanding of the design process.

Civil Engineering and Architecture is a high school level course that is appropriate for 10th or 11th grade students interested in careers related to civil engineering and architecture.  Other than their concurrent enrollment in college preparatory mathematics and science courses, this course assumes no previous knowledge.

Civil Engineering and Architecture is one of four specialization courses in the Project Lead The Way® high school pre-engineering program. The course applies and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and technology.

 Assessment Standards / Grading Policies

60% Major Assignments (Tests, Projects, Writing Assignments)

40% Minor Assignments (Classwork, Homework, Quizzes)

**see district grading policy for specifications**

Minor Assignments:

Daily work and participation grades will be based on completion of the Engineering Notebook and Portfolio. 

Major Assignemtns:

Weekly assessments, cumulative unit exams and a National PLTW Assessment will be given during the semester. 


All students must maintain an Engineering Notebook and Portfolio to pass the class.  They will be checked periodically throughout semester. The final exam grade will be taken from a scaled National PLTW End of Course Exam score.


Course Outline

Unit 1: Overview of Civil Engineering and Architecture

Lesson 1.1: History of Civil Engineering and Architecture

Lesson 1.2: Careers in Civil Engineering and Architecture

Unit 2: Residential Design

            Lesson 2.1: Building Design and Construction

            Lesson 2.2: Cost and Efficiency Analysis

            Lesson 2.3: Residential Design

                       ***Midterm Exam***

 Unit 3: Commercial Applications

            Lesson 3.1: Commercial Building Systems

            Lesson 3.2: Structures

            Lesson 3.3: Services and Utilities

            Lesson 3.4: Site Considerations

 Unit 4: Commercial Building Design

Lesson 4.1: Commercial Building Design Problem

            Lesson 4.2: Commercial Building Design            Presentation


Course Goals / Objectives

 The Project Lead the Way curriculum, including Civil Engineering and Architecture, focuses on making math and science relevant for students.  The approach used is called APPB-learning (activities, projects, and problem-based learning).  By engaging in hands-on, real-world projects, students understand how the material covered in class can be applied in their everyday lives.  Learning activities will include teacher-led instruction, cooperative learning, and project-based learning.  Technology will be used to enhance student learning, and provide real-world applications. 

Engineering is a profession that contributes to change and improvements in our world.  It creates imaginative and visionary solutions to the challenges of the 21st century – the problems of feeding the world, how we will use energy and continue to protect our environment.  Engineering and technology play a vital role in the quality of everyday life and wealth creation.  Appropriate attitudes relative to the professional social obligations of the engineer, and the relationships between math, science, technology and society need to be learned.  Real world, open-ended engineering problems that cover a wide range of content will be presented. 




What will my classes be like?

Use 3D modeling software AutoDesk Revit Architecture to create and test your own residential and commercial designs, factoring in:

• Materials and Systems

• Structural Design

• Cost / Efficiency Analysis

• Storm Water Management

• Site Design and Considerations

• Utilities and Services

• Building Codes

• Architectural Style and Guidelines 

Research the careers and trends in the design and construction industry, including new developments in energy efficiency, green technologies, and changing populations. Be inspired to shape the spaces of the 21st Century!


Field Experiences / Competitive Opportunities

 The PLTW Engineering programs offer students an array of advantages, from career readiness and hands-on experience to college preparatory–level classes, labs and creative exercises. PLTW students succeed in the classroom and in life.

 Our programs are designed to appeal to all students, from those already interested in STEM-related fields, to those whose experience in the sciences and math has been less comprehensive or who find themselves uninterested in traditional science and math curricula.

 PLTW classes are hands-on, based in real-world experience, and engaging for students and teachers. We set the highest standards for rigorous, focused and relevant study, and develop students’ innovative, collaborative, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills.

 Our relationships with teachers, parents, local and national business leaders and university partners allow us to offer a complete experience both for students wishing to pursue a post-secondary degree in a STEM-related field and for those planning to join the workforce after high school.  STEM literacy reduces dropout rates, increases attendance and helps students find better-paying jobs after school.

 College and Career Pathways                            Design/Pre-Construction

Construction                                                     Maintenance/Operations

Science & Mathematics                                     Engineering & Technology