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Engineering and Computer Science at Avon Old Farms

FOCUSED ON Innovation AND PROBLEM SOLVING

As hands-on learners, boys respond well to technology when it comes to learning computer programming, engineering, and 3-D design. Avon's engineering and computer science program is designed to create a hands-on atmosphere for boys to collaborate and innovate across disciplines by using a systematic approach to problem-solving while developing technical skill sets.

In addition to specialized, technology-centered courses in the curriculum, Avon Old Farms boasts several state-of-the-art computer labs on campus loaded with special design and engineering software.

As a college preparatory school, Avon Old Farms is committed to providing students with opportunities in and out of the classroom to develop the technological skills necessary to meet the challenges of higher education and the world beyond.

 

Course Progression

Many students enroll in engineering and computer science courses according to their level of interest and ability. Avon offers classes from introductory to advanced. A possible progression might be:

FRESHMAN YEAR
 Introduction to Engineering Design

SOPHOMORE YEAR
 
Introduction to Computer Science

JUNIOR YEAR
Aerospace Engineering or
Principles of Engineering or
Mobile App Design or
AP Computer Science A

SENIOR YEAR
Aerospace Engineering or
Principles of Engineering or
Mobile App Design or
AP Computer Science A or
Engineering Design and Development (Capstone Project)

Meet The Team

Courses

Intro to Engineering

Introduction to Engineering is a foundation course in the Project Lead The Way Engineering Program. Students will work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using a 3D modeling software and following the standards of an engineering design process.

Intro to Computer Science

Using JavaScript and Python, this course develops computational thinking and generates excitement about computing using professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of devices and the internet. Projects and problems include console-based games, simulations, and cybersecurity.

Principles of Engineering

Principles of Engineering is a foundation course that surveys some of the major concepts of postsecondary engineering. Through exploring problems that engage and challenge, students will encounter a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of materials and structures, automation, and kinematics. The course applies and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and technology.

Aerospace Engineering

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 A

This is a rigorous Advanced Placement course challenges students to think critically and develop carefully thought out algorithms to solve problems. Students learn how to utilize object-oriented programming in Java throughout the course and will develop a thorough understanding of the language and concepts such as inheritance, hierarchy, polymorphism, as well as basic programming concepts such as conditional and looping statements.

Engineering Design & Development

In this course, students will identify a real-world challenge and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their unique solutions to a panel of engineers. This is considered a capstone engineering project offered to junior and seniors only.

Advanced Topics in Computer Science: Data Structures

This course is intended as an introduction to data structures, algorithms, and more advanced programming techniques. Students will be able to solve real-world problems by reasoning about data structure choices, choose appropriate implementations, and analyze the costs associated with those choices. Students will learn to write, debug, and test large programs systematically. The major topics within the course include: Recursion, Abstraction, Problem Solving, Software Design, Sets, Linked Lists, Stacks, Queues, Trees, Heaps, Sorting Algorithms, Graphs, and Hashing, with exposure to complexity and algorithm analysis.

Advanced Topics in Computer Science: Mobile App Development

This course will introduce students to common software engineering practices in the context of designing and building mobile applications. Students will use the Dart programming language to create native apps for Android and iOS. Students will learn to design responsive user interfaces, utilize public APIs, and manage large projects using GitHub. The major topics within the course include: Responsive Design, Abstraction, Version Control, APIs, Efficiency, Agile Development, and the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing transforms ideas into products. In this course, students will learn about the manufacturing process, product design, and automation. They will develop their knowledge and skills in CAD (3D modeling software) to use our Haas Milling Machine, located in our new Engineering Lab. Students will apply their knowledge and skills gained in this course as they collaborate to design, build, and program our Haas TM-1p Mill.

After School Activities & Clubs

Competitive Robotics

In our robotics program, students with varying interests collaborate to create a final structure: from sketching designs, to creating parts on a 3-D printer, to programming the robot for competition. Our team competes at FIRST's FTC level.

Field Trips

Each year, students in a variety of engineering and design courses at Avon are able to tour local labs, including Kaman Industries, TRUMPF, Pratt & Whitney and the Morris Group, Inc.

Club Forge

Club Forge is an active club on campus that explores engineering concepts. The students in club forge have been involved in several projects, including High Altitude Balloon launch, gas to an electric go-cart, electrathon racecar, RC airplanes, and more. 

A Growing Program


"Theodate Pope Riddle’s masterful architecture means that we have a beautiful campus, but Avon’s value goes far deeper than the foundations of the buildings or the waters of Beaver Pond. In helping to build the engineering and robotics programs at Avon, I am proud to be a part of something larger than myself."
KIMBERLY FINN BOLSTER, SCIENCE TEACHER, ROBOTICS COACH