CEA Unit 1: Architecture as Art

Introduction to the history and vocabulary of architecture


 Download the Unit 1 Full Assignment

 Download the Unit 1 Single-Page Assignment

The world of civil engineering and architecture is a complex one with a long history.  Throughout time, civil engineers have tried to apply new techniques and technology to make buildings and structures stronger and more efficient.  Simultaneously, architects and designers have been developing new styles that combine the function of a building with innovative aesthetics. As you get introduced to the ideas and vocabulary of civil engineering and architecture, we’ll go through three major steps:

  1. Learn about the history of civil engineering and the vocabulary of design
  2. Learn about architecture styles from history
  3. Build an architectural model, Photoshop visual, and Revit labyrinth!

When you’re done, you’ll have a good foundation for your continued work in civil engineering & architecture!


(20 pts)  About 3 days

Here you’ll learn about the history of significant civil engineering advances throughout time.  You’ll use those ideas to frame a conversation about the elements of design and the principles of composition as they relate to building design.  You’ll also get to think about how all these ideas have been used right here in Fairbanks!


(20 pts)  About 2 days

Once your wiring works and is soldered, your next job is to brainstorm the design of your Bug Bot.  Think about the tools and materials we have available; then decide what you want to build.  You need to take some time (about 30 minutes) and make a careful drawing of the Bug Bot you want to build!

PART 3: Build It!

(30 pts)  About 4 days

Following your diagram, build your robot!  Talk to Mr. Benshoof and assemble your materials.  Make a plan of when you want to use different tools so you’re not waiting around.  Be sure to schedule some build time for painting and decorating your Bug Bot.  Have fun and stay focused!

 Download the part 1 rubric

 Download the designing information!

 Download the building information!

PART 1: Wiring

Wiring up your bugbot is the first and most crucial step!

Bug Bot Wiring Diagram

The quality of a Bug Bot is directly dependent on how good the wiring is.  As we start our project, you need to collect all the proper materials and get the Bug Bot wiring put together using alligator clips.  When you plug in batteries, you should see things work as intended with motors and switches.  Once you have things working with clips, we’ll replace those with twisted wires.  When the system works with those wires, we’ll solder them permanently in place.


 Use your Engineering Notebook to DRAW A PICTURE of the wiring diagram, and make notes to yourself from the three videos below. Then get building!

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your working wiring when its all soldered and ready to go!

Bug Bot Wiring Introduction

How To Solder

Troubleshooting Wiring Problems

What’s Due In Bug Bot Part 1: Wiring

  • Drawing
  • Prototyping
  • Soldering
  • Benshoof’s Check-Off

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Wiring

  1.  Draw the “Wiring Diagram” into your engineering notebook on a page specifically for “Bug Bots”
  2.  Prototype the wiring using alligator clips and confirm that motors move as intended
  3. Solder regular wires in place of the alligator clips and confirm everything still works
  4.  Have Benshoof check-off your working wiring

PART 2: Design & Draw

Brainstorm ideas for your Bug Bot and draw a careful picture

Soldering – how to!  Give some thoughts and notes that summarize the big ideas


Construction Tools & Materials Information

Making A Good Drawing

What’s Due In Bug Bot Part 2: Design & Draw

  • Brainstorm
  • Research
  • Pick Design & Draw
  • Benshoof’s Check-Off

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Wiring

  1.  Brainstorm at least 10 ideas for what your Bug Bot might look like or be made of
  2.  Look up “Bug Bot Designs” on Google and see what other designs are out there.  Add 5 more ideas to your brainstorm list.
  3.  Pick what your final design will look like, and make a careful drawing in your engineering notebook
  4.  Have Benshoof check-off your careful drawing

PART 3: Build It!

Put your plan into action and build your Bug Bot in our workshop

Soldering – how to!  Give some thoughts and notes that summarize the big ideas

Check out this video on how to solder

Check out this video on how to wire your bugbot

Check out this extra video on troubleshooting

What’s Due In Bug Bot Part 3: Build It!

  • Build It
  • (Extra Credit) Decorate it
  • Benshoof’s Check-Off

Here’s what’s due in Part 3: Build It!

  1.  Get into the makerspace and build your Bug Bot!  Make sure it functions properly!
  2.  If you have extra time, give your Bug Bot that special touch by painting, lasering, or making stickers to customize it!
  3.  Have Benshoof check-off your finished, working Bug Bot

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to use the Engineering Design Process to wire, design, and build a working Bug Bot.  You should have had the chance to do some soldering, design your own Bug Bot, and use the tools in our makerspace to build your Bug Bot.  If you were really on-task and working hard, you should have also had time to decorate your Bug Bot to make it look super cool.  By the unit deadline, you should have completed and be able to submit the following items:

Engineering Notebook:

 (Part 1) Definition of problem, criteria, constraints, and Bug Bot Overview notes

 (Part 1) Wiring diagram, soldering notes, and wiring reflection

 (Part 2) Bug Bot Design brainstorm, notes, and careful drawing

 (Part 3) Final drawing/picture, half-page written reflection on Bug Bots

Building & Making:

 (Part 1) Wiring should work, soldering should be clean and complete

 (Part 2) Bug Bot design should be carefully drawn out including labels and diagrams

 (Part 3) The Bug Bot should be assembled and should function properly

Benshoof Checkpoints

 (Part 1) Benshoof should have seen your working wiring before you moved on

 (Part 2) Benshoof should have seen your careful drawing before you moved on

 (Part 3) Benshoof should have seen your working Bug Bot