UHS Prepares for a New Honors Principles of Engineering Course


Bill Ingalls

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Alex Lindenberg, Staff Writer

UHS will be offering a new honors version of the Principles of Engineering (POE) course next year. While this honors course will count as an elective credit instead of a physical science credit, a benefit for students who hope to major in STEM or improve their transcripts, UHS will also be updating the existing non-honors class to count as a physical science credit for students. Students who aren’t interested in taking a Physics or Marine Science course in their junior year but need the science credit can now take the CP POE class in order to graduate.

POE has a tremendous amount of ‘hands-on’ projects, taking concepts learned in physics classes and applying them to engineering principles,” POE teacher Mathew Bell said. “Some of the larger projects involve students designing and building autonomous robots, maximizing the strength of balsa wood bridges, building electrical circuits, as well as several other smaller competitions and challenges.”

Students will be able to apply the skills they learn not only inside the classroom but outside the classroom as well.

“While students are likely to remember much of the content we cover, I think the biggest skill they refine is going through the iterative nature of problem-solving,” Bell said. “Students are encouraged to be creative and try things and when they don’t work, figure out why not and find a better solution.”

As the school year comes to an end, Mr. Bell expresses his excitement for this new course to take root next year.

“I love the content, and the subject is extremely fascinating and fun to learn and teach,” Bell said. “It’s all of my favorite topics from my years of college rolled up into one course.”

UHS students are eager to be a part of this course, too, with freshman Caleb Kusumo taking the new honors course next year.

“I am most excited to be in a class with people who have the same interests as me,” Kusumo said. “I think that being in POE will not only help me understand the principles of engineering, but will also help me think logically and improve my problem-solving skills.”

Mr. Bell looks forward to seeing the future faces such as Kusomo’s bring the new course to life.

“Because this class is so student led, every year is a different experience for me based on the ideas my students have for their projects,” Bell said. “I frequently have students coming up with new ideas I haven’t tried before and make me think about the concept in a new way.”

For students who are interested or have questions, Mr. Bell encourages students to come see him in room 401 for more information on the new POE course.