Design Step 1: Identify the Need

What exactly does an engineer do? Learners find out through a instructional activity that asks them to solve a problem that affects a target population. Aspiring engineers learn the steps of the engineering design process as they apply it to a challenge of their choosing. This first part of the unit gives attention to defining the problem.  

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Instructional Ideas

  • Allow each group to brainstorm a separate design project for this unit 
  • Propose several "target populations" and ask for corresponding design projects that could benefit them
Classroom Considerations

  • Part one of a six-part engineering design unit
  • The suggestion is to keep the same groups throughout the unit.
Pros

  • Gives good examples for design projects
  • Provides a pre-project activity to reinforce understanding of the Engineering Design Loop
  • Contains assessment of lesson and activity extensions
Cons

  • None