- Begin with a practice activity. Think about items we use everyday. How could they be improved?
- Place students in pairs to interview each other about some common problems they face with items they use at school (e.g. too-small desks, lunch bags that don't keep food cold, backpacks that don’t hold all the right stuff, etc.).
- Have each student choose one item mentioned by their partner and brainstorm ideas for improvements. How could they change those items to make them function better? How would they improve upon the design?
- Students can sketch their solutions, share them with their partners to receive feedback, and then make changes to their designs.
Introduce the Engineering Design Process
- Now that students have had a chance to experience the engineering design process, go over the steps of the process with them. You can find some great resources from TeachEngineering.org.
- Have students identify each part of the engineering design process from their practice activity.
- Watch the QUEST "Engineering Is" video again, or choose another one! (The videos are also found on under "Collections" at the top of the page). Discuss the different steps of the engineering design process as it relates to the project the scientists and engineers are working on.
Brainstorm Ideas for #EngineerThat
- Think about some challenges we currently face, like transportation or energy. How do we get to and from the places we go? How could our methods of transportation be improved or made more efficient? Think about all of the different ways we use energy. Could our homes, classrooms or community spaces be made more energy-efficient?
- Interview family members, friends or community leaders to hear their ideas.
The best part about this challenge is that there are no wrong ideas. Be creative in designing your solutions!
Go to the #EngineerThat challenge