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  • Design Process
Across the MOAT (Mountains, Obstacles, Aerial, Terrain)
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How can you use the Engineering Design Process to access a geographically inaccessible location to deliver supplies?

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Author:
Joshua Beals
David Fordoski
Douglas Kase
Megan Altebrando
Carol Heath
Date Added:
02/28/2019
Amusement Park Ride: Ups and Downs in Design
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Students design, build and test model roller coasters using foam tubing. The design process integrates energy concepts as they test and evaluate designs that address the task as an engineer would. The goal is for students to understand the basics of engineering design associated with kinetic and potential energy to build an optimal roller coaster. The marble starts with potential energy that is converted to kinetic energy as it moves along the track. The diameter of the loops that the marble traverses without falling out depends on the kinetic energy obtained by the marble.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
C. Shade
Marthy Cyr
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Android App Development
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Students develop an app for an Android device that utilizes its built-in internal sensors, specifically the accelerometer. The goal of this activity is to teach programming design and skills using MIT's App Inventor software (free to download from the Internet) as the vehicle for learning. The activity should be exciting for students who are interested in applying what they learn to writing other applications for Android devices. Students learn the steps of the engineering design process as they identify the problem, develop solutions, select and implement a possible solution, test the solution and redesign, as needed, to accomplish the design requirements.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Sandall
Scott Burns
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Bedroom Engineering Design Activity
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STEM focused lesson that incorporates hands on and computer based 3D design. Grade specific math concepts such as budgets, percentages, and square footage is applied.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Computer Science
Engineering
Elementary Education
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Hofstra University
Author:
Dr. David Crismond
Dr. M. David Burghardt
Linda Walker
Lois Miceli
Mike Hacker
Date Added:
04/26/2019
Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6
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In this multi-day activity, students explore environments, ecosystems, energy flow and organism interactions by creating a scale model biodome, following the steps of the engineering design process. The Procedure section provides activity instructions for Biodomes unit, lessons 2-6, as students work through Parts 1-6 to develop their model biodome. Subjects include energy flow and food chains, basic needs of plants and animals, and the importance of decomposers. Students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our own communities. This activity can be conducted as either a very structured or open-ended design.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise Carlson
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Broken Bones & Biomedical Materials
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Students are introduced to the concept and steps of the engineering design process and taught how to apply it. Students first receive some background information about biomedical engineering (aka bioengineering). Then they learn about material selection and material properties by using a provided guide. In small groups, students learn of their design challenge (improve a cast for a broken arm), brainstorm solutions, are given materials and create prototypes. To finish, teams communicate their design solutions through class poster presentations.

Subject:
Engineering
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Angela Lamoureux
Connie Boyd
Emine Cagine
Hilary McCarthy
Katherine Youmans
Robin Scarrell
Suzanne Sontgerath
Terri Camesano
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Build a Toy Workshop
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Working as if they are engineers who work for (the hypothetical) Build-a-Toy Workshop company, students apply their imaginations and the engineering design process to design and build prototype toys with moving parts. They set up electric circuits using batteries, wire and motors. They create plans for project material expenses to meet a budget.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Carleigh Samson
Eszter Horanyi
Jacob Crosby
Jonathan McNeil
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
William Surles
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Building a Catapult
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This activity was designed for blind learners, but all types of learners can use it to design and build a catapult that will toss a marshmallow or pompom over a distance of at least 12 inches, using the appropriate materials and tools safely.

Subject:
Visual Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Perkins School for the Blind
Provider Set:
Accessible Science
Author:
Kate Fraser
Michele Engelbrecht
Date Added:
01/01/2011
Bumps and Bruises
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Athletes often wear protective gear to keep themselves safe in contact sports. In this spirit, students follow the steps of engineering design process as they design, build and test protective padding for an egg drop. Many of the design considerations surrounding egg drops are similar to sports equipment design. Watching the transformation of energy from potential to kinetic, observing the impact and working under material constraints introduces students to "sports engineering" and gives them a chance to experience some of the challenges engineers face in designing equipment to protect athletes.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abigail Watrous
Connor Lowrey
Denali Lander
Janet Yowell
Katherine Beggs
Melissa Straten
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Cardboard Automata
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Cardboard Automata are a playful way to explore simple machine elements while creating a mechanical sculpture. This activity was inspired by the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, a group of automata builders based in England. Artists like Paul Spooner, Keith Newstead, and Carlos Zapata build beautiful narrative pieces using elegant mechanisms based on cams, gears, springs, and linkages. Working with simple materials, this activity is easy to get started, and may become as complex as your mechanical sculpture ideas.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
12/01/2012
Coding and Computer Science-VEX Robotics-Advanced
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Once students demonstrate proficiency in VEX Robotics, it is time for the application of knowledge in Real World Situations.

Students will learn Automated Straightening, Studying Variables in code, how to run true/false statements, setting parameters in a sonar function, implementing functions with parameters in programs, and how to encapsulate discrete behaviors in functions.

Students then go on to work on straightening statements using if/then, how to change values which the Vex Sonar Sensor measures in, and explore values associated with the sonar sensor when it receives an echo and when it does not.

Subject:
Computer Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Brian Nicholas
Dan Smith
Date Added:
03/05/2019
Concentrating on the Sun with PVs
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Students design, build and test reflectors to measure the effect of solar reflectance on the efficiency of solar PV panels. They use a small PV panel, a multimeter, cardboard and foil to build and test their reflectors in preparation for a class competition. Then they graph and discuss their results with the class. Complete this activity as part of the Photovoltaic Efficiency unit and in conjunction with the Concentrated Solar Power lesson.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abigail Watrous
Jack Baum
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Stephen Johnson
William Surles
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Construct and Test Roofs for Different Climates
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We design and create objects to make our lives easier and more comfortable. The houses in which we live are excellent examples of this. Depending on your local climate, the features of your house have been designed to satisfy your particular environmental needs: protection from hot, cold, windy and/or rainy weather. In this activity, students design and build model houses, then test them against various climate elements, and then re-design and improve them. Using books, websites and photos, students learn about the different types of roofs found on various houses in different environments throughout the world.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abigail T. Waltrous
Denise W. Carlson
Martha Cyr
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Corn for Fuel?!
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In this activity, students examine how to grow plants the most efficiently. They imagine that they are designing a biofuels production facility and need to know how to efficiently grow plants to use in this facility. As a means of solving this design problem, they plan a scientific experiment in which they investigate how a given variable (of their choice) affects plant growth. They then make predictions about the outcomes and record their observations after two weeks regarding the condition of the plants' stem, leaves and roots. They use these observations to guide their solution to the engineering design problem. The biological processes of photosynthesis and transpiration are briefly explained to help students make informed decisions about planning and interpreting their investigation and its results.

Subject:
Engineering
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Janet Yowell
Karen King
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Creative Engineering Design
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Students are introduced to the world of creative engineering product design. Through six activities, teams work through the steps of the engineering design process (or loop) by completing an actual design challenge presented in six steps. The project challenge is left up to the teacher or class to determine; it might be one decided by the teacher, brainstormed with the class, or the example provided (to design a prosthetic arm that can perform a mechanical function). As students begin by defining the problem, they learn to recognize the need, identify a target population, relate to the project, and identify its requirements and constraints. Then they conduct research, brainstorm alternative solutions, evaluate possible solutions, create and test prototypes, and consider issues for manufacturing. See the Unit Schedule section for a list of example design project topics.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
See individual activities.
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 1: Identify the Need
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Students practice the initial steps involved in an engineering design challenge. They begin by reviewing the steps of the engineering design loop and discussing the client need for the project. Next, they identify a relevant context, define the problem within their design teams, and examine the project's requirements and constraints. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on, which could be a challenge determined by the teacher, brainstormed with the class, or the example project challenge provided [to design a prosthetic arm that can perform a mechanical function].)

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 2: Research the Problem
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Through Internet research, patent research, standards and codes research, user interviews (if possible) and other techniques (idea web, reverse engineering), students further develop the context for their design challenge. In subsequent activities, the design teams use this body of knowledge about the problem to generate product design ideas. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on, which could be a challenge determined by the teacher, brainstormed with the class, or the example project challenge provided [to design a prosthetic arm that can perform a mechanical function]. This activity is Step 2 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 3: Brainstorm Possible Solutions
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Brainstorming is a team creativity activity that helps generate a large number of potential solutions to a problem. In this activity, students participate in a group brainstorming activity to generate possible solutions to their engineering design challenge. Students learn brainstorming guidelines and practice within their teams to create a poster of ideas. The posters are used in a large group critiquing activity that ultimately helps student teams create a design project outline. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 3 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 4: Engineering Analysis
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Engineering analysis distinguishes true engineering design from "tinkering." In this activity, students are guided through an example engineering analysis scenario for a scooter. Then they perform a similar analysis on the design solutions they brainstormed in the previous activity in this unit. At activity conclusion, students should be able to defend one most-promising possible solution to their design challenge. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 4 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 5: Construct a Prototype
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Students learn about the manufacturing phase of the engineering design process. They start by building prototypes, which is a special type of model used to test new design ideas. Students gain experience using a variety of simple building materials, such as foam core board, balsa wood, cardstock and hot glue. They present their prototypes to the class for user testing and create prototype iterations based on feedback. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 5 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 6: Evaluate/Manufacture a Final Product
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As students learn more about the manufacturing process, they use the final prototypes created in the previous activity to evaluate, design and manufacture final products. Teams work with more advanced materials and tools, such as plywood, Plexiglas, metals, epoxies, welding materials and machining tools. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 6 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design a Boat
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This activity was designed for blind learners, but all types of learners can use it to design a boat (bearing in the mind the properties of matter) that will hold as much weight as possible.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Perkins School for the Blind
Provider Set:
Accessible Science
Author:
Kate Fraser
Yoo Jin Chung
Date Added:
01/01/2011
Design and Graphics Communications
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The Design Process is a modern approach to the teaching of practical skills in schools, colleges and universities. It is sometimes called Product Design. In this course learners will learn how to define the Design Process and explain the framework of design. This course discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the design process and it illustrates the design process diagrammatically. It explains problem identification techniques and discusses ways of analysing products to be designed. In addition, this course discusses the importance of investigating into problems before designing and making.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework/Assignment
Reading
Provider:
WikiEducator
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Design and Problem Solving
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This activity was designed for blind learners, but all types of learners can use it to understand the design process and produce a design for a product meant to solve a specific problem.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Perkins School for the Blind
Provider Set:
Accessible Science
Author:
Kate Fraser
Yoo Jin Chung
Date Added:
01/01/2011
Design for Function
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In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad designs an invention that will help them cross a swamp and also reach the top of a tall cliff.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Author:
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
WNET
Date Added:
08/29/2008
Designing a Color-Changing Paint Using pH
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How can an understanding of pH—a logarithmic scale used to identify the acidity or basicity of a water-based solution—be used to design and create a color-changing paint? This activity provides students the opportunity to extract dyes from natural products and test dyes for acids or bases as teams develop a prototype “paint” that is eventually applied to help with a wall redesign at a local children’s hospital. Students learn about how dyes are extracted from organic material and use the engineering design process to test dyes using a variety of indicators to achieve the right color for their prototype. Students iterate on their dyes and use ratios and proportions to calculate the amount of dye needed to successfully complete their painting project.

Subject:
Engineering
Numbers and Operations
Physical Science
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Benjamin McCombs
Carly Monfort
Joseph Duncan
Linda Gillum
Miyong Hughes
Date Added:
01/30/2019
Designing a Tunnel: An Earth Science Design Challenge
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After teaching a unit about rocks and minerals, students are challenged with picking a site for a tunnel, drilling through a mountain with clay, reinforcing the hole to create a tunnel, and then testing their design. Students will also estimate and calculate the amount of time it takes them to drill.

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Geology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Author:
Nicole Valkenburg
Date Added:
03/06/2019
Do You See What I See?
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Students explore the concept of optical character recognition (OCR) in a problem-solving environment. They research OCR and OCR techniques and then apply those methods to the design challenge by developing algorithms capable of correctly "reading" a number on a typical high school sports scoreboard. Students use the structure of the engineering design process to guide them to develop successful algorithms. In the associated activity, student groups implement, test and revise their algorithms. This software design lesson/activity set is designed to be part of a Java programming class.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Derek Babb
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Does It Cut It? Understanding Wind Turbine Blade Performance
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Students gain an understanding of the factors that affect wind turbine operation. Following the steps of the engineering design process, engineering teams use simple materials (cardboard and wooden dowels) to build and test their own turbine blade prototypes with the objective of maximizing electrical power output for a hypothetical situation—helping scientists power their electrical devices while doing research on a remote island. Teams explore how blade size, shape, weight and rotation interact to achieve maximal performance, and relate the power generated to energy consumed on a scale that is relevant to them in daily life. A PowerPoint® presentation, worksheet and post-activity test are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Numbers and Operations
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alexander Kon
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Egg Drop
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A process for technical problem solving is introduced and applied to a fun demonstration. Given the success with the demo, the iterative nature of the process can be illustrated.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jan DeWaters
Susan Powers
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Engineer a Coin Sorter
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Students learn about the engineering design process and how it is used to engineer products for everyday use. Students individually brainstorm solutions for sorting coins and draw at least two design ideas. They work in small groups to combine ideas and build a coin sorter using common construction materials such as cardboard, tape, straws and fabric. Students test their coin sorters, make revisions and suggest ways to improve their designs. By designing, building, testing and improving coin sorters, students come to understand how the engineering design process is used to engineer products that benefit society.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Megan Schroeder
Stephanie Rivale
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Engineering Design - Paper Bridge
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In this activity, students will learn about and apply the engineering design process to solve a problem. The activity frames the problem around designing, building and testing a paper bridge that maximizes the weight it holds.

Resources included in this lesson are found at the bottom of this document and include:
- Teacher guide
- Engineering Notebook Document
- Design Process Presentation
- Design Process Note Sheets
- Links to videos
- Pre/Post Assessment

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson
Module
Author:
Alexandrea Dunkelberger
Date Added:
12/06/2018
Engineering Design Process Gingerbread Houses
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Architecture is the practice of designing and building structures. Architecture can vary in its scope from functional bridges, houses and buildings to the aesthetic principles of landscape architecture. Architecture is a human endeavor that spans thousands of years. Students will be introduces to Engineering Design Process via the study of Architecture and building their own gingerbread house

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Author:
Marsha Hughes
Ellie Taraborrelli
Date Added:
12/06/2018
Engineering Pop-Ups
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Students learn about applied forces as they create pop-up-books the art of paper engineering. They also learn the basic steps of the engineering design process.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Engineering a Habitat’s Humidity
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Students design a temporary habitat for a future classroom pet—a hingeback tortoise. Based on their background research, students identify what type of environment this tortoise needs and how to recreate that environment in the classroom. The students divide into groups and investigate the features of a habitat for a hingeback tortoise. These features include how many holes a temporary habitat may need, the animal’s ideal type of bedding, and how much water is needed to create the necessary humidity level within the tortoise’s environment. Each group communicates and presents this information to the rest of the class after they research, brainstorm, collect and analyze data, and design their final plan.

Subject:
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Kayla Sutcliffe
Date Added:
05/24/2019
Evolving Design
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Ontwerpen is een combinatie van logisch redeneren en het creatief combineren van bestaande technieken om tot nieuwe, innovatieve ideeen te komen. Een goede werktuigkundig ontwerper put zijn creativiteit uit kennis van een groot aantal bestaande werktuigbouwkundige systemen. Hoe groter die kennis, hoe groter de kans dat nieuwe, innovatieve ontwerpconcepten ontstaan. Vooral kennis over niet-conventionele techniek bevordert dit creatieve ontwerpproces.

Het doel van het vak Evolving Design is om studenten de onderhavige werkprincipes te tonen van een grote hoeveelheid niet-conventionele werktuigbouwkundige systemen. Er wordt hierbij zowel gekeken naar bijzondere ontdekkingen uit het verleden als uit het heden, met een blik op de toekomst. De ontwerpprincipes worden niet simpelweg opgesomd, maar geplaatst in hun fascinerende, historische ontwikkeling om te laten zien hoe de ontwerpers hun creativiteit en vernuft gebruik(t)en om goedwerkende oplossingen te vinden binnen de beperkingen van de beschikbare fabricageprocessen en beschermingsmogelijkheden (patenten). Veel oplossingen uit het verleden zijn klaar om te worden toegepast in de technologie van de toekomst!

Het vak richt zich primair op het kwalitatief beschrijven van de werkprincipes van bestaande technologieen, met de nadruk op bewegende mechanische constructies. Hoewel het kwantatief, in detail uitwerken van de kracht-bewegingsvergelijkingen niet het hoofddoel van het vak is, zijn mechanische vergelijkingen wel essentieel als zij leiden tot een beter begrip.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Delft University of Technology
Provider Set:
Delft University OpenCourseWare
Author:
Dr. ir. P. (Paul) Breedveld
Date Added:
02/16/2016
Fancy Feet
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Students use the engineering design process to solve a real-world problem shoe engineering! Working in small teams, they design, build and test a pair of wearable platform or high-heeled shoes, taking into consideration the stress and strain forces that it will encounter from the shoe wearer. They conclude the activity with a "walk-off" to test the shoe designs and discuss the design process.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Flying T-Shirts
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During this engineering design/build project, students investigate many different solutions to a problem. Their design challenge is to find a way to get school t-shirts up into the stands during home sporting events. They follow the steps of the engineering design process to design and build a usable model, all while keeping costs under budget.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brandi Jackson
Denise W. Carlson
Jonathan MacNeil
Scott Duckworth
Stephanie Rivale
Date Added:
09/18/2014