The STEM program at HCPA engages students with the College Board recognized Project Lead the Way Engineering (PLTW) curriculum. The courses prepare students for success in a range of careers related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  In addition to STEM-infused curriculum where students utilize current engineering software and design processes, students will complete honors-level and Advanced Placement Math and Science courses. Students will have the opportunity to participate in Technology Student Association (TSA) conferences and competitions as well as other interscholastic events. The STEM program includes each of the courses listed below.

Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD) 

Grade:  9                   5 Credits

This course is designed for the student who may be interested in pursuing Engineering in a college or technical school. The student will have hands-on computer assignments that include the types of technical drawings done by engineers. Students are taught both command line and icon entry methods.  The course includes single view, multi-view drawing, sectional, and auxiliary views.  Students will be introduced to pictorial views through ISO and Oblique views.

Honors Introduction to Engineering (IED)

Grade:  10-12                    5 Credits

Engineers make a world of difference!  Students are introduced to the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to identify and design solutions to a variety of real problems.  They work both individually and in collaborative teams to develop and document design solutions using engineering notebooks and 3D modeling software. Are you ready to design the future?

Honors Engineering Design and Development (EDD)

Grade: 11-12                    5 Credits

Engineering Design and Development (EDD) is the capstone course in the PLTW high school engineering program. It is an open-ended engineering research course in which students work in teams to design and develop an original solution to a well-defined and justified open-ended problem by applying an engineering design process.

Students will perform research to select, define, and justify a problem. After carefully defining the design requirements and creating multiple solution approaches, teams of students select an approach, create, and test their solution prototype. Student teams will present and defend their original solution to an outside panel. While progressing through the engineering design process, students will work closely with experts and will continually hone their organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, their creative and problem solving abilities, and their understanding of the design process.

Engineering Design and Development is a high school level course that is appropriate for upperclassmen. Since the projects on which students work can vary with student interest and the curriculum focuses on problem solving, EDD is appropriate for students who are interested in any technical career path.

Honors Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Grade:  11-12                    5 Credits

Manufactured items are part of everyday life, yet few people understand the excitement and innovation that is used to transform ideas into products. This course provides an opportunity for students to recognize many of the exciting career opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

The course deepens the skills and knowledge of an engineering student within the context of efficiently creating the products all around us. Students build upon their Computer Aided Design (CAD) experience. Students learn and apply concepts related to integrating robotic systems into manufacturing systems. Throughout the course students learn about manufacturing processes and systems. This course culminates with a capstone project where students design, build, program, and present a manufacturing system model capable of creating a product.

Computer Science Essentials

Grade:  10-12                    5 Credits

With emphasis on computational thinking and collaboration, this course provides an excellent entry level course in the computer science and coding experience. Computer Science Essentials will expose students to a diverse set of computational thinking concepts, fundamentals, and tools, allowing them to gain understanding and build confidence.

In Computer Science Essentials, students will use visual, block-based programming and seamlessly transition to text-based programming with languages such as Python to create apps and develop websites, and learn how to make computers work together to put their design into practice. They’ll apply computational thinking practices, build their vocabulary, and collaborate just as computing professionals do to create products that address topics and problems important to them.

STEM - Facts & Data

  • The number of STEM occupations in the U.S. will grow by 8.9% between 2014 & 2024
  • In New Jersey there are 1.4 open jobs in STREAM for every unemployed person
  • 20% of U.S. jobs require a high level of knowledge in a STREAM field.
  • Between 2018 and 2027 the number of STREAM jobs will grow 9% in New Jersey- with positions in computing, engineering, nad advanced manufacturing leading the way.
  • Out of 100 STEM occupations, 93% of them had wages above the national average. STREAM workers earn about 26% more than their non-STEM counterparts.
  • According to ACT data, not enough U.S. students are equipped for STREAM opportunities-now or in the future.


NJ STEM Pathways Network, National Skills Coalition,, Smithsonian Science Education Center