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LEAD Learning Engineering and Design

Elizabeth Seton High School’s STEM Program

Elizabeth Seton High School is leading the way in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction by offering an integrated program entitled, LEAD (Learning Engineering and Design).  This program has adopted the educational model, Engineering by Design, developed by The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association’s STEM Center for Teaching and Learning.  This is a standards-based national model built upon Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEEA), Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM), and Project 2061, Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS).

LEAD integrates these standards of learning for science, math, and technology with the principles of engineering and design.  It allows students to align knowledge, skills, capabilities, and critical thinking skills into problem solving learning.  Students are taught a defined sequence of skills while gaining an understanding of the principles and systems of engineering and design.  They engage in hands-on exploration, which includes building, creating, designing, and testing so that they can apply the skills they have learned to solve problems in the world around them.

This program includes the development of a four-year curriculum in STEM instruction, whereby students can take a minimum of one STEM course per year that increases their understanding of engineering design and application while preparing them for college level courses in engineering and technology.



This curriculum has been designed to lead all students to increased achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math in a problem solving environment. This education engages students in learning and experimenting that improves life, drives invention and innovation, develops critical thinking skills, and changes the way people live and interact.

LEAD also changes the definition of technological literacy to include strategies that allow students to build their own understanding of engineering design, the process that transforms ideas into manufactured products that impact the environment, society, and our global developments.

Technology continues to change every aspect of our natural world.  LEAD enables students to learn principles and designs that allow them to assess, evaluate and discern technological values and ethics as technology affects our behavior, our lifestyle, and our global perspective.

LEAD teaches students to work together in teams in an environment where constructive feedback, project management, and participatory learning are valued.  This type of collaboration teaches students to share ideas, assist one another in projects, and design solutions together.  It promotes students’ abilities to network with others and deepens their appreciation for diverse thinking in problem-solving situations.

LEAD prepares students for a wide variety of career paths.  Designing and applying technology is vital for those who enter the work force today as technology plays an ever increasing role both in our economic vitality and our environmental survival.


LEAD is based upon the following principles of Engineering by Design:

  • Engineering through design improves life.
  • Technology has and continues to affect everyday life.
  • Technology drives invention and innovation and is a thinking and doing process.
  • Technologies are combined to make technological systems.
  • Technology creates issues that change the way people live and interact.
  • Technology impacts society and must be assessed to determine if it is good or bad.
  • Technology is the basis for improving on the past and creating the future.


What do students learn in LEAD?

 Students study basic level concepts of the following technologies:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Energy and power
  • Communication
  • Agriculture
  • Transportation
  • Computer

Students apply and transfer this knowledge to solve common, everyday problems and gradually progress to more global issues.  Students use their ingenuity with tools, building materials, robotics, electronics, etc. in laboratory classrooms to create, design, and build inventions, models, and products for the world in which they live.


What is the Curriculum Structure of LEAD?

LEAD has the unique advantage of providing both an introductory level of engineering and design and a full four year successive course structure for those who wish to deepen their understanding and experience.  The following curriculum design outlines the possible progression of the course of study:

Grade 9: Foundations of Technology

Grade 10: Advanced Design Applications / Robotics Engineering I

Grade 11: Advanced Technological Applications / Robotics Engineering II

Grade 12: Engineering Design (The Capstone Project)

*Each course is two semesters.  Students in grades 10, 11, and 12 have the option of taking two courses per year.

Course Description for  Foundations of Technology

This course is designed to engage students in exploring and deepening their understanding of the concepts of technology.  Students will develop an understanding of the influence of technology on history by exploring how people of all times have used their unique skills to innovate, improvise, and invent.  Students will develop an understanding of engineering design and use technologies that produce goods that enhance the quality of life for people.  They will also explore the processing and controlling of energy resources and become familiar with information and communication technologies that affect economic growth.  The course concludes with the synthesizing of major ideas through an understanding of the core concepts of technology with an emphasis on systems-thinking.


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