Day 1 -- Introduction + The Engineering Design Process!
-Introduced ourselves to the kids, went around saying names to familiarize ourselves with the 6th graders
-Showed the IDEO video about the Engineering Design Process, the redesign of the shopping cart
-Outline and discuss the Engineering Design Process, identified what we saw in the video as each part of the process
-Walked around the school finding problems that we could potentially engineer solutions to
-Began discussing the difference between something new that the students wanted and a problem that really needed a solution
Day 2 -- Brainstorming
-Identified the community/client, discussed this in relation to each problem around the school that the identified
-Discussed testing, started to think about how we would know if our engineering solutions were effective
-Filled out brainstorming worksheet about identifying the problem, client, possible solutions, how we would test it, and how exactly it will solve the problem
Day 3 -- Brainstorming
-Narrow down possible problems to one problem to work on for the semester
-Begin brainstorming solutions to the group-specific problem, fantasy solutions as well as practical solutions
-Introduced and discussed constraints like materials and time
Day 4 (shortened class) -- More Brainstorming
-Finalized problems, discussed how we will begin to implement a solution
-Some groups began making posters explaining their problems, solutions, and clients for other groups to critique
Day 5 -- Posters and Walk-Around
-Students put their problems on a poster to present to the other members of the class
-Posters included the problem, the population, the solution, and how they would test it
-Some groups included drawings of their solutions, dimensions, and materials lists
-Students participated in a "walk-around" where they had one person from each group stay at the poster to answer questions, while everyone else travelled around to other groups to ask questions, give constructive criticism, and see what everyone else was doing
-We got some awesome feedback from today! Great questions were asked and interesting points were made. The fresh perspective from other students helped the students explore aspects of their design that had never been in question before
Day 6 -- SAM Animation and Materials Lists
-Students made SAM Animation videos about their projects!
-Videos included the problem, population, constraints, solution, and more in-depth description/depiction of how it would solve their problem
-AWESOME videos were made today, students loved the opportunity to play around with SAM Animation
-Having to show everyone else how the solution would work inspired more critical thinking about materials etc.
Day 7 -- Prototyping!
-The students began to prototype their solutions today! We brought them their materials and had them begin to plan out and make their solutions.
-Issues came up at first with imperfect materials in some cases, but by half-way through class, pretty much everyone learned to work with what they had, and some great products are in the works!
-Some groups have finished their prototypes, and will now be focusing on how they will test their solutions.
Day 8 -- Prototyping Continued
-Students continued to work on their projects, some groups required a lot more construction than others, so the groups that were done early began helping other groups with construction for some of the time
Day 9 -- Prototyping and Testing + Paper Towers
-Most of the groups were done prototyping and began thinking about testing today. We left the idea of testing wide open to them so that they would come up with how to test it on their own, rather than have us tell them exactly what data they should be collecting and how.
-Groups who had thought through testing then worked on paper towers for the class period! They tested the paper towers using their own binders to see which ones worked best, and got some very surprising results! A lot of the thickest, widest towers held less weight than the thinner, more conservative designs, which sparked interested conversation among the students.
-The groups that weren't done continued with construction. Every group had tested their product in one way or another at least once before the end of class!
Day 10 -- Presentations!
-Students were given 40 minutes and a rough presentation outline to prepare a 2-4 minute presentation for both classes.
-Once each group had a poster, their prototype, and a presentation prepared, each group presented their solution to the classes! It was a great wrap-up to end an awesome semester.