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Identify An Engineering Challenge_ED

Description 

What problem will we solve?
Finding opportunities for design often comes from noticing problems.

 

Common Core Standards Assessed: ELA.RST.1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9
NGSS Assessed:  HS-ETS1-1

Time To Complete 

1-3 Hours

I Can Statements 

  • I can identify an engineering challenge that:
    • Promotes questioning and encourages my curiosity to learn more about the subject
    • Is clearly and accurately defined and related to my current area of study
    • Is specific or narrow enough to support a manageable engineering design process
    • Requires critical inquiry and higher-order thinking, such as analysis, questioning, and evaluation
  • I will know if my engineering challenge is of high quality if it:
    • Promotes questioning and curiosity to know more about the subject
    • Is something I feel strongly about or want to learn more about
    • Is clearly and accurately defined and related to the current area of study
    • Is specific or narrow enough to support a manageable engineering design process
    • Requires critical inquiry and higher-order thinking, such as analysis, questioning, and evaluation

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their engineering challenge to gauge how well the topic meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to state their engineering challenge and explain (orally or in writing) how it meets the quality criteria for a high quality challenge.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below.
Possible Activities 
  1. Ask students to create a  list of products they wish existed. 

  2. Ask students to brainstorm a ”bug list”: a list of things that bug them or other people, such as tangled headphone cords or forgetting where you put your phone. From this list, ask them to identify which items on the list are unsolved or poorly solved problems, and which could be the basis for a new or an improved product.

  3. Provide inspiration to students by providing them with a look at other new or innovative products. Ask them to determine what problem they solve or need they fulfill. Ask if there are any that could be made better.

  4. Show students the “How might we” process to explore situations to identify potential problems to solve: https://dschool.stanford.edu/resources/how-might-we-questions

Downloadable Resources 
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