Mr. Rogers' Syllabus for IB Design Technology

Mr. R's Common Syllabus

Mr. R's Home

Southside High

Objectives →

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Contact Information:

  Instructor   Mr. Rogers
  Room   134
  Phone   355 - 8737

What to Expect:

As you walk through the classroom door you will be entering the exciting world of invention, innovation,  engineering, and entrepreneurship. The class is an outgrowth from the 2004 Lemelson-MIT grant that enabled the school's InvenTeam to invent and prototype a stair climbing robot for firefighters. In the spirit of the Lemelson-MIT program, students will learn how to come up with an idea then develop it through the prototype stage. Each student will learn how to:

  1. conduct literature searches on  ideas
  2. conduct patent searches
  3. find clients and customers willing to help develop the idea
  4. write a Lemelson-MIT type invention statement
  5. use a decision matrix to evaluate alternatives.
  6. run simulations of basic concepts using programs such as Excel Spreadsheets.
  7. develop time line plans (Gantt charts) using Excel.
  8. make a materials cost estimate using Excel
  9. make orthographic and assembly drawings using computer software.
  10. build prototypes
  11. assemble a final report which will sell the idea to potential investors.

Students will also focus on the IB design methods and gain a knowledge of how ideas can be scaled up all the way into manufacturing and commercialization. They will gain a deeper understanding of how technologies are developed and of how engineers interact in the process.

Since materials science has traditionally been a major road block to successful commercialization of inventions, a significant part of the class will focus on strength of materials and materials science.

Finally, students will learn a number of design and prototyping skills including soldering, use of basic hand and power tools. They will often work together building prototypes.


General Info

Grading: (For details see Mr. Rogers' Syllabus - Information Common to All Classes.) Unlike Mr. Rogers other classes less than 50 % of the grade will be based on tests. The majority will be based on completing milestones for the major project and on weekly project work.

Materials for Class

  1. A set of dry erase markers. You will frequently be working problems in class on a white board.
  2. A bound composition book the exact type shown at right (no substitutes accepted. This is required by IB for keeping a log of the major project. Every time you talk to Mr. Rogers one-on-one about your project you should have your composition book and make notes in it.
  3. A scientific calculator.





Major Project: Each student will create a major invention/design project based on the 10 items listed above. The project must solve a problem for a client in an innovative manner and will include a log book and final report. due the first Monday in March. It will be virtually impossible to pass the class during the 3rd and 4th quarters without turning in this project.

If possible the design will be turned into a working full scale prototype but this is not a requirement of the project.

Extra credit will be awarded if the project is turned into a science fair project or major contest entry.

Group IV Projects: Yes, Design Technology is a Group IV subject and students will be required to participate in a group IV project with a biology, chemistry, physics, and design aspect. The good news: classroom time will be allotted for the project and a major written assignment will not be required.

Weekly Project Related Assignments: These will be based on scientific and engineering investigations. Most of these will be done in small groups

Continuous Brainstorming: There are very  few successful single idea people. Successful inventors and innovators are generally wellsprings of ideas. While some of this characteristic is natural talent, anyone can improve their ability to generate ideas. Students will maintain an idea log of possible inventions they would like to work on, and add to it at least weekly for a weekly grade. (Possible being a key word here, in other words no time travel machines, warp drives, etc.)

Assignment Turn In: To the extent possible, all assignments are to be turned in electronically and kept in the IB Design Technology folder on each individual student's virtual hard drive. The files are to be labled as follows:

<student's name> <exact title of the assignment>

The exceptions are the computer printed major project and the hand written log book associated with it.



Leadership and Teamwork Development

Students will learn how to brainstorm as a group and how to conduct effective meetings during both in-class projects and extra curricular projects.


Summer Assignments for New Students

Who Should Take this Class: Students with an interest careers related to:  engineering, architecture, industrial design, the computer professions, business, or entrepreneurship.

Credit: One unit (IB group IV subject)

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor. Honors Algebra II.

Extra Credit Opportunities


Course Outline

The following is offered as a general indication of how the class will be paced. Adjustments will be made as needed.

First Quarter:

Unit I. How to invent. Chap  
Start 08 -19 - 09 End  09 - 04 - 09 Days 10
Objectives/ Standards Topic 2: Product innovation Assessment  Exam


Unit II. How to design Chap  
Start 09 - 07 - 09 End 09 - 18 - 09 Days 10
Objectives/ Standards Topic 1: Design process Assessment  Exam


Unit III. Green design Chap  
Start 09 - 21 - 09 End  10 - 02 - 09 Days 10
Objectives/ Standards Topic 3: Green design, HL Topic 12: Sustainable development Assessment  Exam


Unit IV. Group IV poster project Chap  
Start 10 - 02 - 09 End 10 - 23 - 09 Days 15
Objectives/ Standards Group IV Project Assessment  Poster

Second Quarter

Unit V. How to select materials Chap  
Start 10 - 26 - 09 End 11 - 06 - 09 Days  
Objectives/ Standards Topic 4: Materials, HL Topic 9: Structures Assessment  Exam


Unit VI.  Market and product development Chap  
Start 11 - 09 - 09 End 12 - 04 - 09 Days 16
Objectives/ Standards Topic 5: Product development Assessment  Exam


Unit VII. How to design electronic devices Chap 9
Start 12 - 07 - 09 End 12 - 18 - 09 Days 6
Objectives/ Standards Option B: Electronic product design Assessment  Exam



1st Semester Exam Review

Start 01 - 04 - 10 End 01 - 11 - 10 Days  
Objectives/ Standards The 1st semester exam will be cumulative & based on old tests

Third Quarter

Unit VIII. Major product design & fabrication Chap  
Start 01 - 20 - 10 End 02 - 02 - 10 Days 10
Objectives/ Standards Individual project required for IB Assessment  Project milestones


Unit IX. How to design products Chap  
Start 02 - 03 - 10 End 02 - 10 - 10 Days 6
Objectives/ Standards Topic 6: Product design Assessment  Exam


Unit X. How to evaluate products Chap  
Start 02 - 11 - 10 End  02 - 18 - 10 Days 5
Objectives/ Standards Topic 7: Evaluation Assessment  Exam


Fourth Quarter

Unit XII. How energy affects us Chap  
Start 02 - 19 - 10 End 03 - 19 - 10 Days 16
Objectives/ Standards HL Topic 8: Energy Assessment  Exam


Unit XIII. Passive solar house design project Chap  
Start 02 - 03 - 10 End 02 - 10 - 10 Days 6
Objectives/ Standards   Assessment  Project


Unit Review for IB Exam
Start 03 - 22- 10 End 05 - 03 - 10 Days 26
Objectives/ Standards  

Mr. Rogers' IB Design Technology Objectives

Basic Syllabus 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter

Invention Ideas and Useful Links

Design Technology will use internet resources as its textbook. Here is a sampling of useful links:

Invention Ideas

There are 2 sources invention ideas:

  1. Market Pull: Problems in search of a solution
  2. Technology Push: Solutions in search of a problem

The links provided here contain many useful solutions as well as other useful sources of information for inventors.

General Resources


Everyday Edisons: The web site for the TV show has lots of stories of recent inventions--the type a high school student could do.
Lemelson MIT-Program: An excellent general resource for inventing.
Innovation Exploration - Lemelson Foundation: The section of The Lemelson Foundation for exploring innovation through sound, pictures, and video.

Idea Finder: Dedicated to innovative ideas, including new developments, the history of invention and resources


Protection of Intellectual Property

Patent Info: Lots of general information about protecting intellectual property.

Free Patents Online: Full text of U.S. patents from  1974 to the present.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


Innovative Solutions and Technologies
Javalin Stamp Computer This is a very powerful tiny computer which can be programmed in a subset of Java. It can be used for sensors,  motor speed control, and many other applications

ER-1 Robot This robot is the basis for SAM jr.

Robot MarketPlace: A good source of parts and ideas for robotics applications

Free Software

Google SketchUp: free and powerful 3D software that we will use in class.

gmax 3D modeling and Animation: free and somewhat more sophisticated #D program often used by game programmers.


Extra Credit

IB Design students can receive extra credit for a major project outside of class. A well done major  project can also earn up to 10 points extra credit for a given quarter.

10 extra credit points will normally raise a grade by about 3 percentage points.

All extra credit is due one week before the end of the quarter it is counted in.

Major Projects

  1. Intel Science Talent Search A completed research paper (similar to a science fair project) must be submitted along with the required forms by Nov 5th. This contest hands out over a million dollars worth of scholarships to about 340 people. It is an excellent opportunity (seniors only).
  2. Regional Science Fair: The idea is due by Oct 1st, the experimental work is to be completed before Christmas break, and the total project completed by January 31st.
  3. Design and build a significant piece of equipment for the school.
  4. Other major design competitions.




SAM Team--Southside High School's STEM and Computer Science extra-curricular club (Mr. Rogers Sponsor)

Mr. Rogers' Twitter Site

Mr. Rogers Teacher's Blog

Mr. Rogers T-shirts

Mr. Rogers Information for Teachers

Mr. Rogers Science Fair Information

Check out other web sites created by Mr. R:

Check out Articles by Mr. Rogers:

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics is one of the most humorous, entertaining, and readable physics books available, yet is filled with all kinds of useful content and clear explanations for high school, 1st semester college physics students, and film buffs.

It explains all 3 of Newton's laws, the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, momentum, energy, gravity, circular motion and a host of other topics all through the lens of Hollywood movies using Star Trek and numerous other films.

If you want to learn how to think physics and have a lot of fun in the process, this is the book for you!


First the web site,

now the book!

Mr. Rogers Home | Common Sylabus | AP Comp Sci I | AP Comp Sci II | AP Physics Mech | AP Physics E&M | AP Statistics | Honors Physics|IB Design Tech | Southside

[ Intuitor Home | Physics | Movie Physics | Chess | Forchess | Hex | Intuitor Store |

Copyright 1996-2011 T. K. Rogers, all rights reserved. Forchess is a registered trademark of T. K. Rogers.
No part of this website may be reproduced in any form, electronic or otherwise, without express written approval.