Energy & Environmental Engineering Research Center

Buchanan High School

CTE Engineering Design & Environmental Resources Pathways

(Energy Academy)


Engineering Design & Environmental Resources Students Become Tomorrow's Problem Solvers Today

From launching explorations to delivering safe, clean water to communities, our students find solutions to pressing problems and turn their ideas into reality. Our pathway empowers students to step into the role of an engineer or environmentalists, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers. The program’ s courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges that help them become better collaborators and thinkers. Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.  

Building a Strong Foundation for College and Career

Each of our pathway courses engages students in interdisciplinary activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, or exploring algae as a biofuel source. These activities not only build knowledge and skills, but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance. 


Pathway Requirements:

Students who complete these requirements earn graduation recognition.

  • Complete OSHA on-line safety Certification.  (A voucher will be provided for you.)  (Completed during the summer, prior to 9th grade.)
  • Attendance at monthly Guest Speakers at lunch. 
  • Participation on Industry Tours.
  • Maintain a grade of C or higher in all Core & Elective Courses.
  • Complete a minimum of three elective courses including an introduction, concentration, & capstone course. (Students in our pathway take both an elective and and a core course each year.  This is in place to allow students in both 9th & 10th grades to join the pathway and be able to complete the requirements for honors recognition at graduation.)
  • Complete 6 hours of Job Shadowing (Occurs in 11th & 12th grades)


Elective Courses: (2018-2019)

Introduction to Engineering:

Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product.   (Honors Section Available)

Principles of Engineering: 

Students explore a broad range of engineering topics including mechanisms, strength of structure and materials, and automation, and then they apply what they know to take on challenges like designing a self-powered car.  (Honors Section Available)

Environmental Sustainability:

Students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply, and renewable energy. 


Future Elective Courses: (2019-2020)

Computer Integrated Manufacturing:

Students discover and explore manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation, and then they apply what they have learned to design solutions for real-world manufacturing problems. 

Engineering Design & Development:

Students identify a real-world challenge and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their unique solutions to a panel of engineers. 


Core Courses: 

Biological Links to Energy & Environment:

This course integrates biology and the basics of energy science and  is a hands-on, biological exploration of cellular biology and the variety of chemical reactions that occur in specialized areas of organism cells.  Specific attention is paid to energy acquisition and use in living organisms, complex ecosystems, and the changing environment.  

Chemistry/ Environmental Engineering - Water:

Using Chemistry skills and concepts learned in this course, students solve environmental engineering problems related to water and its interactions with the environment.  Students will use a systems-based approach to understand that all environmental systems consist of matter and will apply this knowledge to solving current and future global water issues. This course explains the basic chemistry required to understand crucial environmental interactions in order to encourage students to take a critical approach to solving complex water-related issues on a local and global scale. 

Physics, AP Physics 1, or AP Physics C:

Develop a deep understanding of foundational principles of physics in classical mechanics and modern physics by applying these principles to complex physical situations that combine multiple aspects of physics rather than present concepts in isolation. Discuss, confer, and debate with classmates to explain a physical phenomenon investigated in class.  Design and conduct inquiry-based laboratory investigations to solve problems through first-hand observations, data collection, analysis and interpretation

AP Computer Science Principles:

AP Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation.  Students develop computational-thinking skills and tackle challenges like designing apps to solve real-world problems for clients.  The course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cyber security concerns, and computing impacts. 

AP Environmental Science:

AP Environmental Science provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.

Pathway Applications:

Available in BHS Office 300

Available from BHS Counselors


For More Information Contact: 

Jennifer Carter, Learning Director: 7-12 Grade Science  

Sascha Ludwig - Environmental Resources Lead Teacher -

Daniel Samarin - Engineering Design Lead Teacher -