Curriculum Overview

The Academy of Engineering and Technology hosts three different years of courses for the students at San Rafael High School. Each year consists of two courses, one science/engineering course, and one design course, and both include the use of technology.

Students are welcome to enter and exit the academy as they move through SR. We encourage all students to try out an engineering and design course set during their time in high school since we believe it provides students with skills and learning that they cannot receive in a normal science classroom.

Below is an overview of the three years. You can also use this resource to help visualize your high school career course options if you choose to participate in the academy.

Class Set 1

These courses are typically taken during the student’s freshman year when they are required to take the Physics of the Universe (Phun) Course. Any student, however, who needs to take Phun can take these dual courses instead.

Phun – AET

This course is an introduction to the scientific models involved in the formation and inner workings of our universe. Students take this course during their freshman instead of the traditional Physics of the Universe course offered by the science department. This course will focus heavily on engineering and pairs with the Introduction to Engineering and Design course.

Intro to Eng and Design

Students will learn about the engineering process and be introduced to professional-level design tools for computer-aided drafting (CAD). Fabrication tools and processes will be introduced with an emphasis on safety. Knowledge of different materials and applications will be investigated throughout the year. Students will be expected to communicate and critique in a collaborative environment.

Projects

The Rocket Project

The Bridge Project 

Class Set 2

These courses can be taken during either the junior or senior year. This set is for students who are interested in mechanical physics (motion physics). Students can also opt in to prepare for the AP Physics 1 exam while in the class. This set is not required to take class set 3.

Eng. of Mechanical Systems

This course is an introduction to the scientific models involved in much of mechanical engineering. In this course, students will begin by looking at a series of models that will help them describe and understand linear motion in either one or two dimensions. Students will then learn a series of causal models that will give them the ability to predict the behavior of simple mechanical systems. Finally, students will learn conservation laws (energy and momentum) and learn to solve problems using these unifying principles.

College Credit Available for this Course! Students can opt in to take the AP Physics 1 test and will receive additional support for the test during the year.

Eng. and Design 1

This course introduces students to the fabrication techniques used to build mechanical systems with metal, wood, and plastic. Students will be taught to use advanced fabrication tools such as a CNC mill, table saws, and a lathe. Students will also develop their Fusion 360 (Computer-Aided Drafting) skills involved in creating mechanical systems.

Projects

The Rocket Car

The Seige (energy device)

Class Set 3

These courses can be taken during either the junior or senior year. This set is for students who are interested in electrical, robotics, and optics physics. Students can also opt in to prepare for the AP Physics 2 exam while in the class. This set is not required to take class set 2.

Eng. of Electrical Systems

Students take the second half of the AP Physics curriculum. This is an algebra-based course that studies fluids, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, and nuclear physics. Students will approach these topics with detailed, hands-on labs. This class promoted critical thinking, ensuring that a student will obtain and retain information better than if they just read a textbook.

Students can earn college credit from this course in two ways!

(1) Students can opt to take the AP Physics 2 exam and will receive additional support during the year.

(2) Students can take a test at the end of the year and earn college credit from College of Marin.

Eng. and Design 2

The students will apply what they are learning in AP Physics 2 to the construction and design of electrical systems. In the past, students have used fabrication tools to construct a robot that is programmed to move effectively through a maze, a solar-powered hotdog cooker that can track sunlight to best cook a sausage of choice, and motors that are powered by laser-cut gear systems.

Projects

The Robot Project

Drag Racers

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