Invent and Engineer Course Overview

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Teacher: Derrel Fincher
2003-0004 School Year

Course Goals

Invent and Engineer is a one semester elective course offered by ASIJ Middle School to seventh and eighth grade students. The primary goal of the course is for students to realize that they have the power to create and build new ideas; that invention is not something somebody else does, but something they can do.

This goal will be reached through a combination of theoretical and hands-on work, and they will have the opportunity to work as a team and have the opportunity to work on basic electrical and mechanical devices.

Major topics

Teamwork and team processes: Students will be introduced to and practice effective methods of working within teams, including how to lead a meeting, critique others’ ideas, reach consensus, and brainstorm.

Creativity: Students will learn and practice various methods for improving creativity.

Skills: When applicable, skills will be taught to the students. Such skills may include soldering, assembling mechanical and electronic parts, disassembling equipment, etc.

Tri-class Reflections

Students will be expected to write a short reflection of what they have learned and how they are doing at the end of every third class. Completing each Tri-class Reflection is a requirement for the course.


Techniques taught in the course will be adapted from professional publications as well as come from materials developed for students. When necessary, students will be expected to research background information in the library as well as on the Internet.


Evaluation will be based on projects and class participation. The projects are a significant part of the grade and these will be evaluated on the processes the student uses to create them (with a heavy emphasis on planning first), the thought put into the project, and the final product. When a project is a group effort, students will also be assessed on how well they work with the other members of the group. The course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. In order to pass, all assignments must be attempted and all written work must be completed.

Procedures and Policies

Class time occasionally may not be sufficient for completing the work in the class and it will be assigned for completion by the next class, but the time required should not ordinarily exceed 30 minutes between two class sessions. This course is offered on a Pass/Fail basis, with the majority of the assessment coming from teamwork (when in team projects), staying on task, following assignment guidelines. Plenty of time is given at the end of class for cleaning up the work and all students are expected to help with the clean-up. The focus is on process rather than final result since many of the projects are open-ended. Students may contact me at school or at home.

Specific Expectations of Accountability

Students are expected to follow safety guidelines at all times. Students are also expected to provide positive support to their classmates’ and groups’ efforts, for using their time productively during class.

Please feel free to call or E-mail me about any concerns you or your middle schooler may have. I encourage students to call at night before 9 o’clock if they have questions about any homework assignment.

Derrel Fincher


0422-34-5300 ext. 422


042-362-4314 (before 9 p.m.)


Last maintained 09/04/03


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