Engineering Process


Printable lesson plan and worksheet available HERE.

About this Plan:

In this plan we will watch videos on Engineering by Crash Course Kids, the videos cover the Engineering Process and are about 10 minutes in length. After watching the videos, we will work through the engineering process and create our own invention/solution to a problem.

Materials Needed:

  1. Notebook or binder to keep all worksheets, drawings, test results, notes, etc.

  2. Computer or laptop to watch Crash Course videos on YouTube and accessing websites for articles.

  3. Optional: Google Sketch Up, if you will create a 3D model of your product. If you are a teacher or homeschooler, you can obtain a FREE one-year license

  4. Optional: 3D printer to print a prototype.

  5. Materials to build a prototype and materials to build the actual product. You will have a better idea of what you need during the design process.

Grade Level

This plan designed for upper elementary/ middle school, however the plan can be adjusted for older students.

Objectives/Teaching Guide:

  1. What is an Engineer?

  2. Different types of Engineers

  3. The Engineering Process

  4. Define a problem

  5. Research

  6. Brainstorm solutions

  7. Choose best solution (or a couple)

  8. Create prototype

  9. Test and redesign

Lesson Plan:

Watch Videos: available at Crash Course Kids

  1. What's an Engineer?

  2. The Engineering Process

  3. Defining a Problem

  4. Project Success: Defining the Problem – this video recommended for older students.

  5. Defining Success

  6. Got Some Solutions

  7. Let's Fly

  8. A Case of "What-ifs"

  9. Engineering Games

  10. Bowled Over

  11. Try Trials

  12. Succeed by Failing

  13. Fixing Failure Points

  14. Designing a Trial

  15. Testing and Trials

  16. The Robot Challenge

  17. Architecture Adventure

  18. Let's Build a City

Readings:

  1. Engineering Design Process” – this is for older students (upper middle school/high school)

  2. Suggested reading “Engineering Design Project Guide” by Science Buddies.

Activities:

I do not specify the number of days it will take to watch the videos, do the reading, or work on the projects. The timeline is something the parent/teacher should set.

Purchase a notebook or place worksheets and blank paper in a 3 ring binder. This will be your “Engineering Notebook”. You will keep all your ideas, notes, designs, research and tests results in this book. You can use the cover page I created (under Worksheets) for the Notebook or create your own.

Younger Students: elementary and lower middle school
  1. Watch all Crash Course Videos

  2. Complete worksheet Engineering Process – Defining/ Choosing the Problem

  3. Have students research and gather information on how to build the project they selected and supplies they will need.

  4. Complete worksheet Engineering Process – Specification/Criteria. Consider size, shape, weight, distance, strength, materials, etc.

  5. Design the product by making a drawing (this could be to scale), creating a 3D model sketch, or a prototype (this should be made from cheap material like cardboard). We used graph paper to draw a model then we made a 3D sketch using Google Sketchup. We plan on 3D printing our design, if we take this route we will post pictures on social media.

  6. If you did not create a prototype, create one now.

  7. Gather all required materials, you can use the Materials List (you may have to assist younger students with calculation).

  8. Watch videos corresponding to the project you picked. The ones from PBS have written instructions.

  9. It is now time to test your prototype. You can use the Testing results worksheet to keep track of the tests.

  10. Does the product work?

  11. What changes, if any need to be made?

  12. Fill out the Solutions check list to ensure all the criteria’s have been met.

  13. If the product work’s, then success. If it does not work make any needed adjustments and go back to step 7.

Older Students: Upper Middle school and high school
  1. Watch video 4 and read up to page 8 of the “Engineering Design Process”

  2. Complete worksheet Engineering Process – Defining the Problem

  3. Begin research, refer to Engineering Process – Gather Information

  4. Complete worksheet Engineering Process – Specification/Criteria. Consider size, shape, weight, distance, strength, material, etc.

  5. Begin to brainstorm solutions. Write or draw ideas in your Notebook. Be sure to keep your criteria’s in mind.

  6. Fill out, or create a Solutions check list.

  7. Design the product by making a drawing (this could be to scale), creating a 3D model sketch, or creating a prototype. We used graph paper to draw a model then we made a 3D sketch using Google Sketchup. We plan on 3D printing our design, if we take this route we will post pictures on social media.

  8. If you did not create a prototype, create one now. A prototype should be created with cheaper materials.

  9. Gather all required materials, you can use the Materials List to keep track of everything you will need and the cost.

  10. It is now time to test your prototype. You can use the Testing results worksheet to keep track of the tests.

  11. Does the product work?

  12. Have all the criteria’s been met?

  13. Does it solve the problems/need?

  14. What changes, if any are needed?

  15. If the product work’s, then success. Now create the actual product. Use the Materials List to keep track of materials and cost.

  16. If it does not work make any needed adjustments and go back to step 8

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