Engineering Focus Program


Welcome to current or incoming students interested in enrolling in Introduction to Engineering!

Erie High School is embarking into a new era of taking academic excellence to the next level through its Engineering Focus Program.  Students will be able enroll in exciting classes which introduce the concepts of engineering design, aerospace, and computer science over their four years of high school.  Students who complete two years of study prior to their senior year may enroll in a year long, research and seminar capstone project.  Research centers on an open-ended "real-life" problem which needs solving. Presentations are judged by engineers from our school's industry partners.

There are many benefits to be gained from the Erie Academy of Engineering & Aerospace. Students experience courses covering essential topics in technology, computer science, and engineering while participating in a hands-on, activity oriented program that utilizes team efforts. Students receive training in current technology using the latest computer software and equipment in use in industry today. Engineering coursework reinforces math and science curricula in a meaningful way, igniting interests in career paths for students.  Students will be prepared to pursue a career in technology and/or engineering in a field where a national employment shortage exists and pay scales are among the highest levels for entry level professionals or technicians.

Students may choose to apply to be in this three-year program (they must be a 9th or 10th grader to do so) or they can take individual courses.  The courses are all year-long, practical arts electives. In the 2017-18 school year, students may earn University of Colorado at Colorado Springs college credit for their coursework in the program.  Students interested in enrolling please write and submit a "Statement of Interest" letter to the program coordinator, Mrs. Kelsey Rasmussen, by February 1st, 2017.  Letters should explain why you are interested in the course and what you hope to gain from it. Email letters to or address hard copies to Mrs. Rasmussen at Erie High School's address.  We look forward to hearing from you!

The coursework is delineated below, by class:

Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)

Foundational Course - 9th grade year

  • Design Process
  • Technical Sketch or Drawing
  • Measurement and Statistics
  • Modeling Skills
  • Geometry of Design
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Documentation
  • Advanced Computer Modeling
  • Design Team
  • Design Challenges

Aerospace Engineering (AE, 1 year)

Specialty Course - 10th or 11th grade year

This course propels students’ learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight. As they explore the physics of flight, students bring the concepts to life by designing an airfoil, propulsion system, and rockets. They learn basic orbital mechanics using industry-standard software. They also explore robot systems through projects such as remotely operated vehicles.

AP® Computer Science Principles (CSP, 1 year)

Specialty Course - 10th, 11th or 12th grade year

Computational Thinking Practices:

  • Connecting computing
  • Creating computational artifacts
  • Abstracting
  • Analyzing problems & artifacts
  • Communicating
  • Collaborating

Big Ideas:

  • Creativity
  • Abstraction
  • Data and Information
  • Algorithms
  • Programming
  • The Internet
  • Global Impact

Engineering Design and Development (EDD, 1 year)

Capstone Course - 11th or 12th grade year

  • Researching a Problem
  • Designing a Solution
  • Creating a Prototype and Test Plan
  • Evaluation and Reflection on the Process
  • Presentation
  • Going Beyond EDD

About the Program Coordinator

About the Instructors

Jacob Borealis instructs Aerospace Engineering and AP® Physics.  Mr. Borealis joins us with a wealth of astronomy and physics experience, including four years of observation and maintenance for the PanSTARRS observatory in Hawaii. He comes to Erie High School with numerous years research and STEM teaching at both the high school and university level.

Kelsey Johnson Rasmussen is the Program Coordinator for EHS’s Academy of Engineering & Aerospace and instructs Introduction to Engineering Design, Introduction to Programming, and AP® Computer Science Principles.  Mrs. Rasmussen comes to Erie High with a wealth of experience in STEM research and teaching, and is a Senior Fellow with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation.