Instructor:  Mr. Kurt Thonnings  

Best way to get a hold of me is through email:
School:  440-835-6340  ext 2353

Big Picture

Problem Solving / Design Process / STEM

The Numbers….

Class Length: 9 weeks

Frequency: Everyday for 40 minutes

Who: All 7th grade students take this class

What you will need for this classimgCLASS-thonningsRules

Class Rules

Rules are very important in this classroom. They help everyone know what to do and help keep everyone safe. School rules – the Burneson Way– are meant to identify general behavior that when followed by all, would best promote learning and growth. The classroom rules are specific to the environment of that class and teacher, again, to promote the best environment for learning and growth.


Purpose/goal of consequences: *Personally ‘owning” the mistake, imgCLASS-StopReflectIcon2*“Fixing” the mistake, *Learning from the mistake, and *Evolving to be a better student.

  1. Stop and Reflect (written by student and kept on file in classroom)(This is NOT a detention)
  2. Call home to parents
  3. Detention
Note: Students may be asked to go into the hall should that be necessary to allow the rest of the class to work on required activities.

Class Procedures

Being Tardy to class:  Students are required to be on time to class. When you know you will be late, please ask the previous teacher to write you a pass.

Bathroom breaks, going to your locker, etc.: It would be appreciated if students could please use the restroom before coming to class; however, permission will be granted but only after daily instructions have been given. Students will be given a signed and dated pass. The pass is to be returned to the teacher upon arrival back the class.

Questions:  Ask lots of questions, but please raise your hand.

Cleanup: All students will be required to help in some fashion to cleanup after activities

Seating Arrangements: Many of the activities in this class are small group activities. Seating arrangements might be assigned or change from activity to activity. Students might be moved at any time for any reason.

Cell phones:  Cellular phones of any type are not allowed in any classroom at any time. (See more on school policy here)

Grades:  The student is responsible for keeping up with assignments and checking Engineering grade periodically on PowerSchool. Please feel free to ask any questions. Sometimes it’s best to wait until the end of class or before school.

Grading Overview/Absence Procedures
Most activities in these classes follow rubrics and can be found on the pages within this website. If a student is not able to complete the assignment by the due day because of absence or other need, it is the student’s responsibility to approach the the teacher about makeup. A zero will be recorded in the grade book until the work is turned in. 80% credit will be given to those who take the effort to complete the work -outside of class time – and turn it in. Credit will be given until the very last day of the term.

postItNote.jpgIf a student is absent, they will be given the appropriate amount of time to complete the assignment. Click here for LBMS’ Student Handbook for grading and attendance policy. For homework assignments, if there are extenuating circumstances that prevent the assignment from being complete, a note or an email from a parent is required within 24 hours of the due date. Note that a ‘zero’ will be put into the grade book until the assignment is completed. Please note that if missed class while ‘group’ projects were being worked on, you may be assigned some out-of-class work. Please discuss this the teacher.

Late work or Makeup Turn-in Procedures:
To turn in work to be re-graded, students should fill out their name, period, and what they’d like to be graded on a post-it note (found on my desk) and put it on my computer keyboard. (I’m sure not to pass that up, yes?)

There will be some homework given during the term. Each assignment will be 10 to 15 points.

Students will receive grades for completed activities based upon the following criteria:

  • 20%: Completion of assignment on time (individually graded)
  • 30%: Individual Effort towards completion of goal (individually graded)
    • Observable participation (using tools, measuring, focused discussion, observing, etc.)
    • Full use of available class time
  • 30%: Preciseness / workmanship / Content (individually graded)
    • Quality of completed work
    • Knowledge gained as assessed by quiz, verbal questioning, presentation, or othe
  • 20%: Following directions
    • Followed directions via lecture, written, and/or online directions?
    • Especially about turning in work
    • Asked questions if didn’t understand?

Class Goals

To be Creative! To Build! To Tinker!

  • Maeve B
    “…in this class I expressed and shared my idea’s unlike the other classes where they just give you a worksheet”

Learn to be effective working on a team

  • Moira M
    “I think it is very important so we can understand working as a team, this applies to all classes”

Apply math and science concepts to solving problems and completing projects

  • Brendan
    “This class was a mix of science and math. Math involved with numbers and solving problems, and science had laws and theories about how things in our world work the way they do.”

Be aware and have reverence to the fact that everything man ‘builds’ comes from earth resources

To celebrate mistakes and to be aware of their opportunities

Topics Covered

  • Design, design process, and problem solving
  • Basic sketching and creativity techniques
  • 3D printing: overview of 3D printing process
  • Hands on prototype work
  • Solar power, gears, weight and balance, electricity, etc
  • Basic electronics, circuits
Software to be used

  • Google Sketchup
  • Wikispace
  • Google products/services
  • Animation software
  • Movie-making software
  • Screen captures
  • Data collection sensors
  • Etc…



  • 1 Day: Rules, procedures, etc.


Duration: 1 week

Unit Instructional Page:


  • Orthographic and Isometric sketching
  • Labeled sketching / Dimensioning

Required products

  • Orthographic and isometric sketching in composition book

Google Sketchup and 3D Printing

Duration: 1.5 week

Unit Instructional Page:


  • Google Sketchup Software basics including saving and exporting
  • Drafting simple to more complex objects
  • Measuring in metric

Required products

  • Small project to be printed on 3D printer; Optional object to be printed for use on Junior Solar Sprint car

Junior Solar Sprint

Duration: 3 week

Unit Instructional Page:


  • Design process, creativity, cradle to cradle
  • Use of Sketching and possibly 3D printing
  • Prototype
  • Optimization
  • Data collection
  • Science and math connections

Required products:

  • Completion of model solar car according to NREL rules and constraints
  • Team work


Duration: 1 week

Unit Instructional Page:


  • Basic circuits and electronics
  • Electronics math
  • LED’s

Required products:

  • Completion of circuit experiments
  • Possible soldering of electronics project


Duration: 2 week

Unit Instructional Page:


  • Combines design process, sketching, and electronics

Required products:

  • Completed prototye
  • Possible 3D printed more advanced prototype