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Mr. Urquhart

EMAIL: [email protected]
PHONE: (386) 968-0013 ext. 46269
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Instructor: Mr. Fred Urquhart; [email protected] (386) 968-0013 ext. 46269

Course Description

This course provides students with a foundation in content and skills associated with robotics and automation, including artificial intelligence, electronics, physics, and principles of engineering. Students will demonstrate the safe and proper use of electronic and other lab equipment, tools, and materials. Students will demonstrate an understanding of robotics, its history, applications, and evolution. They will learn about artificial intelligence (AI) and the forms of applied logic. The student will be able to describe the role of sensors in the field of robotics and demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of electronics and electronic devices. They will be able to explain fundamental physics concepts as they apply to robotics as well as an understanding of engineering principles. The student will assemble and program a robot to perform predetermined tasks. They will redesign for improvements. They will solve problems using critical thinking skills, creativity, and innovation. The student will use available technology tools to increase workplace efficiency in a business environment.


  • Current events via technology education magazines and technology websites
  • PITSCO Education Robotics Curriculum, Scope & Sequence, “Engineering Academy”
  • Simulated real-world technology projects that are aligned with State standards
Course Requirements:
  • Engineer’s Notebook:

You are expected to provide and keep an Engineer’s notebook. For this class, we are using a composition book that may optionally contain graph lined pages. The book can be purchased at Office Depot for approximately $2.

  • Pen and #2 pencils
  • 4 GB Flash Drive

***$20 - LAB FEE***  The ANNUAL $20.00 LAB FEE is required at the beginning of the first quarter. Failure to pay the lab fee by October 15th will result in an obligation letter being added to the student's file preventing them from attending Homecoming and many other school functions including graduation .Please consult the "Letter to Families" at the end of this document for more information.

Grading Policy: Pursuant to the District’s grading policy formative assessments will be worth 40% of your quarterly grade, and summative assessments will be 60% of your quarterly grade. County Grading Scale: A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60-69), I (working towards proficiency) and F (below 60). In the program I simplify by dropping 1 digit so A(9-10), B(8), C(7), D(6),F(5)

Class Policies/Procedures

Be polite, be prompt, be prepared, and be productive. As a student at University HS you are expected to follow all school rules. If UHS rules are broken, consequences will follow.

Do Not Handle, Operate or Touch Equipment without Specific Permission from me.

School Announcements - No matter what is going on in class, it must be quiet for these announcements.

No food or drinks are allowed to be consumed during class.

Absences – It is your responsibility to obtain the work you missed in the event of an absence. Check with me on the day you return to school to get your make-up work. If you know you will be absent in advance, ask for your work before you go. Make-up work must be submitted in the same time allotment as the original assignment.

Factors for Success

We will maximize our opportunities for success by agreeing to the following:

  • If you do not understand something, let me know by raising a hand, writing a note, sending an e-mail or making a phone call.
  • You are ultimately responsible for your own learning. I cannot make you do anything if you really do not want to do it. It is up to YOU.
  • Come to class prepared to learn. This includes paper, pencil, notebook, a willing attitude, etc. I want you to be successful.
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Lab Safety Rules

Lab Safety Rules

University High School Lab Safety Rules
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Academy/Robotics and Simulation Academy
The Role of the Students
Students come from diverse backgrounds and have various levels of experience assessing hazards and risks in the Technology Education (Tech. Ed.) laboratories, studios and workshops.  University High School’s (UHS) Tech. Ed. environments provide an opportunity to instill good attitudes and safe habits by allowing students to observe and select appropriate practices and perform laboratory operations safely.  The instructor will model appropriate safety behavior and make every effort to ensure that the lab room is a safe place to learn and discover. Each student also needs to take responsibility for his or her own actions.  The UHS Tech. Ed. Laboratory Safety Contract outlines the general safety rules that are to be followed as well as specific rules that apply to different situations. 
University High Technology Education
Student Laboratory Safety Contract
Labs and studios both are created to offer hands-on, laboratory work.  Throughout this course, you may be doing some laboratory activities which require the use of chemicals, paints, and dangerous equipment.  Safety is a priority for students, teachers and parents. To ensure a safe classroom, a list of safety rules has been developed.  Those rules are provided to you in this student safety contract.  These rules must be followed at all times.  The last page of this document is the actual contract which must be signed by both the student and a parent/guardian before participation in the laboratory.  Your signatures indicate that you have read and agree to abide by the safety rules. 

No student may work in the laboratory without an instructor, or lab supervisor present in the room. Experiments must be personally monitored at all times, with supervision present, using proper learned safety techniques during a safety orientation.

General Guidelines
1.              Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times in the laboratory.  Running, practical jokes, and pranks are dangerous and prohibited.  Use of personal audio or video equipment is prohibited in the laboratory.  Refrain from all behaviors that would confuse, startle, or distract another student or faculty member.
2.              Follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. If you do not understand a direction or part of a procedure, ask the teacher before proceeding.
3.              Never work alone. Furthermore, no student may work in the laboratory without an instructor’s permission and presence.
4.              Perform only activities authorized by the instructor. If you’d like to investigate something as an extension of regular class activities, ask permission before you begin. Unauthorized creations are prohibited.
  1. Use equipment only for its designated purpose.  If not assigned to use equipment, ask permission. 

  2. Do not sit on laboratory tables.

7.              Observe good housekeeping practices. Work areas should be kept clean and tidy at all times. Keep bags, purses, extra papers, etc. off to the side or on the floor underneath your desk.  Materials should not be brought to areas that are not appropriate in the lab unless they are specifically needed for an activity.
8.              Keep aisles clear.  Never block access to exits or emergency equipment. 
  1. Safety goggles/glasses must be worn any time when any lab work is being conducted by anyone in the room.  UHS requires ANSI Z87 glasses.

10.       Know the locations and operating procedures of all safety equipment including any emergency shut off devices, fire extinguishers, and sink/faucet. Know where the emergency phone, fire alarm and the fire exits are located.
11.       Be alert and proceed with caution at all times in the laboratory. Notify the instructor immediately of any unsafe conditions you observe.
12.       Lab books, labels, and equipment instructions must be read carefully before use.
13.       Keep hands away from face, eyes, mouth while using chemicals or paint. Wash your hands with soap and water after performing all experiments.
14.       Wipe dry all work surfaces (including the sink) and apparatus at the end of an activity. Return all equipment clean and in working order to the proper storage area.
15.       Experiments must be personally monitored at all times.  Do not wander around the room, distract other students, or interfere with others. 
16.       Dress appropriately for laboratory activity.
  1. Appropriate gloves must be worn whenever working with hazardous chemicals or heat.

  2. Return any and all lab materials to their proper place after use.

  3. Students should remain in their corresponding spaces after cleanup until the final bell.  Lining up at the door should not occur.   Instructors will dismiss classes based on lab cleanup norms.  

  4. Do not crowd or distract anyone who is working on machinery and equipment.  Observe rules concerning operator’s safety zones.

19. Use a brush or piece of wood to clear away dry chips and use a rag to clean oily areas.
20. Keep the floor clear of scraps and litter.
21. Immediately wipe up any liquids spilled on the floor.
  1. Keep bench, cabinet and locker drawers closed.

Accidents and Injuries
23.       Report any accident (spill, breakage, etc.) or injury (cut, burn. etc.) to the instructor immediately, no matter how trivial it may appear.
24.       If you or your lab partners are hurt, immediately get the instructor’s attention.
25.       If a chemical should splash in your eye(s) or on your skin, notify the teacher immediately.  Completely flush with running water from the sink in the Robotics Build Lab.
  1. In the event of a spill, notify the teacher immediately and clean up properly and promptly.

Handling Equipment and Glassware
27.       If you do not understand how to use a piece of equipment, ask the instructor for help.
28.       Report damaged electrical equipment immediately. Look for things such as frayed cords, exposed wires, and loose connections. Do not use damaged electrical equipment.
  1. When using scissors, knives, and other sharp instruments, always carry with tips and points pointing down and away. Always cut away from your body. Never try to catch falling sharp instruments. Grasp sharp instruments only by the handles. Only use sharp instruments for their intended usage.

  2. Examine glassware before each use.  Never handle broken glass with your bare hands.  Use a brush and dustpan to clean up broken glass.

  3. Never force glassware or tools.  Always use proper techniques.  When needed use proper protective hardware. 

Using Chemicals, Paint, Glues
  1. All chemicals and paints in the laboratory are to be considered dangerous. Do not touch, taste, or smell any chemicals unless specifically instructed to do so. The proper technique for smelling chemical fumes will be demonstrated to you.

  2. Handle flammable hazardous liquids over a pan to contain spills. Never dispense flammable liquids anywhere near an open flame or source of heat.

  3. Never remove chemicals or paints or other materials from the laboratory area without permission.

  4. Place oily rags and other combustible materials in a covered metal container.

35.       Always work in a well-ventilated area.
36.       Labels and equipment instructions must be read carefully before use. Set up and use the prescribed apparatus as directed in the laboratory instructions or by your instructor
37.       Know what to do if there is a fire drill during a laboratory period; containers must be closed and any electrical equipment turned off.
Electrical Equipment
  1. When removing an electrical plug from its socket, grasp the plug, not the electrical cord. Hands must be completely dry before touching an electrical tool, switch, plug, or outlet.

  2. Report damaged electrical equipment immediately. Look for things such as frayed cords, exposed wires, and loose connections. Do not use damaged electrical equipment.

Welding and Handling Heating Substances
  1.  Exercise extreme caution when using a gas burner or welding torch. Take care that hair, clothing and hands are a safe distance from the flame at all times. Do not put any substance into the flame unless specifically instructed to do so. Never reach over an exposed flame. Light gas (or alcohol) burners only as instructed by the teacher.

  2. Never leave a lit burner or turned on welding equipment unattended. Never leave anything that is being heated or is visibly reacting unattended. Always turn off when not in use.

  3. Heated metals and glass remain very hot for a long time. They should be set aside to cool and picked up with caution. Use tongs or heat-protective gloves if necessary.

  4. Never look into a container that is being heated.  Never look into a welding torch, or area without proper protective eye care.  

  5. Use proper heat gloves when using welders and heated items.


University High School Technology Education
Student Laboratory Safety Contract
Contact Lens: 
Wearing contact lenses in the laboratory can create an extra risk in case chemicals or other items enter the eye.  This could be a subject of controversy as some experts believe that contacts should never be worn in the laboratory while others believe that contact lenses can be worn with proper eye protection.
I wear contact lenses in the laboratory.  Yes____No____.  If yes, I am aware of the risks associated with the use of contacts and will strictly adhere to the eye protection requirement.  
Student Agreement:
I have read, listened to, and understand the rules in the University High School Safety Contract.  I agree to abide by the safety regulations and any additional written or verbal instructions provided by the school or my teacher.  In order to participate safely in the lab, I will do my best to perform all procedures in a safe, careful, and common sense manner. 
Furthermore, I understand that the purpose of demonstrations, experiments and examples shown during the course is to help me learn about technology, design and innovation.  I recognize that these demonstrations are potentially dangerous if performed improperly, and I will not attempt to reproduce these demonstrations unless I have the supervision, approval and recommendation of my instructor or another appropriate adult supervisor. 
Student Name (printed): ____________________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature: __________________________________________ (date) __________
Student Signature: _________________________________________________ (date) __________

Letter to Families


Dear Titan Families,


Welcome to the Simulation and Robotics S.T.E.M. Academy!   S.T.E.M. Academy goals and expectations are different than in most courses.   They are designed to challenge students, so please encourage your student to attend class every day and study at home when possible. 

Your child may be enrolled in this course, but not part of the S.T.E.M. Academy.  If this is the case, I strongly recommend that you and your child consider joining a S.T.E.M. Academy.  If you would like more information, please contact me or your child’s guidance counselor. 

Hands-on science is an expensive endeavor.  S.T.E.M. students work with chemicals and supplies used in industry and college laboratories.  The estimated cost for the course is approximately $100 per student.  In an effort to provide the best experience possible, I am asking each student enrolled for the small amount of $20.00.  Please go to the website to make a payment by credit card online to CF Robotics.

You play a vital role in your child’s success.  I would like to consider you as a partner and welcome your help and insights concerning your child’s education.  I encourage you to track your child’s progress on the school’s online grade book.  Please feel free to contact me if you are unfamiliar with how to use the GradeBook.  

I also encourage you and your child to consider joining the Academy’s co-curricular organization, the U.S.FIRST Robotics Competition Team.  The Team competes on a local, national and international level. We have other Robotics Competition teams that engage in a variety of challenges and competitions throughout the school year. Being an active member of the team promotes the development of leadership and communication skills that will benefit students throughout life.  There are multiple opportunities for students, including grants and scholarships.   

If you wish to contact me, please do so via e-mail ([email protected]).  If e-mail is not available to you, please call the school’s main number and leave a message, (386)968-0013.  I will respond as quickly as possible. Also, please fill out the information on the previous page. This will be kept for my records.


Thank you,

Frederic C. Urquhart, Jr.