Courses for Engineering Pathway

MESA Class

Priority Course

 Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is an introductory one-quarter class for 9th graders.  It provides a unique combination of growth mindset enrichment activities, hands-on learning through balsa wood bridge building, Arduino circuit and programming,GIS, CAD and other projects based engineering principles.  MESA is nationally recognized for its innovative and effective academic development program for science, technology engineering and math (STEM) fields. MESA class supports MESA Club on campus and prepares students to enter the Engineering or Computer Science pathway at Helix Charter HS. This course meets the one quarter technology requirement and is highly recommended for 9th grade. This course meets the UC/CSU “G” requirement.


CAD 3/4 (Advanced Engineering & Archiecture

Capstone Course

Prereq:  CAD 1/2.  In this course, students will develop more advanced skills in structural, mechanical, civil, aerospace engineering, as well as advanced Architecture techniques.  This course is designed around the student and their interests in the above fields.  Software utilized will consist of Revit, Inventor and Fusion 360.  This course is designed to further develop the leadership framework and collaborative abilities of engineering students.  It involves a case-study based instructional approach that reviews and applies strategic leadership concepts and knowledge critical to the success of engineering-based companies.  Students will collaborate with their peers to solve problems and create solutions digitally though 3D models.  The course provides particle knowledge and skills that can be applied in industry, covering the complete manufacturing system from production planning to quality control.  Students are given a chance to practice presentation skills with their peers and in front of the community. This course meets the UC/CSU "G" requirement and allows a student to complete the Engineering Pathway.  

Maker Lab Course

Priority Course

Students taking this course have priority to enter the Engineering Pathway.  

EDGE Maker Lab: (10-12) Students will learn to use EDGE Lab equipment, getting hands-on experience with 3D printers, vinyl cutters, laser cutter, and drawing tablets. In addition, students will acquire beginning programming skills and practice using Arduino boards to perform basic functions. In the second half of the course, students will employ the design thinking process to choose, research, and carry out personal projects using the skills they’ve learned.

Maker Lab is a project-based course designed to introduce students to 21st Century technologies, develop CTE skills in engineering and business/entrepreneurship, and provide experience in design thinking and making. In the first half of the course, students will get hands-on experience using lab equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, Arduino boards, Raspberry Pi, and drawing tablets. They will learn the 3D modeling, graphic design, electronics, and programming skills necessary to complete practice projects for each unit. The second half of the course will focus on the design thinking process, as students identify and research a problem, design a solution to the problem, and then test and implement their solution, using the equipment and skills they learned in the first half of the class to carry out final projects of their choice. Class has been submitted for consideration to meet the CSU/UC “G” Requirement.  

Robotics Engineering Technology 3/4

Capstone Course

Prereq:  Passing Robotics 1/2.  Students will continue their work from Robotics 1/2 to work in engineering teams to design, build, and test increasingly complex robotics.  The course will illustrate the importance of integrating sensors, complex machine control, and briefly discuss robot learning and multi-robot systems.  Students will be expected to solve challenges using physical robots and computer simulations.  Students will work in teams to complete a larger design problem and participate in local and regional competitions.  Special attention will be paid to the design process and its communication through both presentation and documentation.  Students will explore additional hardware and software solutions to robotics problems.  Students will learn advanced hardware and software techniques, as well as the mathematics and physics to understand them.  Students will use additional hardware and software platforms to understand robotics applications (Arduino, Parallax, etc.) 

Robotics Engineering Technology 1/2

Concentrator Course

Co-requisites:  Geometry and Physics are recommended. However, motivated students with an interest in robotics may take the course without these requirements.    This course explores the interaction of science and technology, and is designed to interest students in the field of robotics and motivate them to pursue advanced education in science and engineering.  In this class students will apply the scientific method and build on physics and mathematics concepts by investigative research that requires inquiry, data collection, and analysis.  Computer system components, functions, and basic programming language are covered with an emphasis on the interface of computers w/ robots.  Using the engineering design team concept as a model, students will work in small groups to research, design, program, and construct robotic devices used in competitions such as the FIRST Technology Challenge.  Integrated throughout the course are career technical education standards including interpersonal communication, problem solving, workplace organization an safety, teamwork, and technical knowledge.  This course meets the UC/CSU "G" elective credit.  

Advanced GIS

Capstone Course

Prereq:  GIS 1/2.  This course is designed to build upon the entry level GIS Course.  It moves beyond the fundamentals of GIS to explore applications to environmental problems.  Students review current research in the field, learn relevant modeling techniques, and utilize advanced software tools for analysis.  Beyond environmental analysis, students gain explore and digitizing and editing polygon, line and point features.  The course involves the use and integration of a variety of data sources, including maps, GPS, satellite imagery, network analysis, 3D modeling, and spatial analysis.  This course has significant hands on computer time and local businesses and local government entities will be utilized for expertise and data.  This course satisfies Helix Tech credit.  And is a great resource for fun senior projects.  

CAD 1/2 (Intro to Architecture & Engineering)

Concentrator Course

Engineering and Architecture utilizes Project Based Learning through hands-on activities and software integration.  Autocad and Fusion 360 are explored.  Students apply geometric knowledge of the x,y and z-axis through coordinate entry methods.  The class will focus on the 2D and 3D environment. Students will apply these techniques and principles to various projects.  Students will become familiar with system hardware and software related to Engineering.  This course is a combination of PBL, self-paced learning, lecture and collaboration.  Being creative and having a willingness to problem solve is encouraged.  This is an excelled complimentary course to Robotics, AP Physics, Environmental Design and ACE Club.  This course is one of the first courses in the pathway.  It meets the UC/CSU "G" requirement and meets Helix's Tech requirement.


Intro to GIS (Geographical Info Systems)

Concentrator Course

Love Geography?  Want to help understand the land you are building are or the market you are trying to reach w/ your real-estate development? This project based course is designed to provide a basic understanding of concepts in geographic information systems (GIS).  GIS is a computer system used to store, analyze,digitize, and solve real-world problems using data tables and geography.  Students will learn how to use different technologies to analyze human and and environmental problems and think spatially.  The class is a combination of hands-on projects related to spatial thinking and earth related subjects.  Engineers from around the world are knowledgeable in GIS.  This course is an excellent compliemnt to AP Human Geograhy, AP Environmental Science, and AP Economics.  Within your Engineering career, you will most likely come across some form of GIS.  This course mets the UC/CSu "G" requirement and the Helix Tech requirement.  

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