The design process challenges kids to think like engineers! This set of 10 simple STEM investigations can be used as a design process unit or completed throughout the year.
Each engineering design process activity uses simple materials and requires minimal set up. Activities are open-ended and student-driven.
Few limits are established on the student sheets. Instead, you may impose limits (amount of time, amount of materials, types of materials, etc.) that work best for your classroom. Each investigation requires two to three class periods.
• Table of Contents
• Teacher Tips
• Design Process Poster
• 10 One-Page Teacher Notes (One for Each Challenge)
• 10 Two-Page Design Process Challenge Student Sheets
• 1 Two-Page Design Process Template for Your Own Activity
• Design Process Cut-and-Paste Sequence Activity
• Design Process Test + Answer Key
Design Process Challenges:
• Tin Foil Boats
• Paper Airplanes
• The Egg Drop
• Spaghetti Towers
• Bell Silencer
• Zipline Challenge
• Candy Catapult 1
• Candy Catapult 2
• Newspaper Table
• Balloon Rockets
Students use this eight-step process to solve a given problem.
1. Identify the problem.
2. Conduct research.
3. Develop possible solutions.
4. Choose one solution.
5. Construct a prototype.
6. Test the prototype.
7. Communicate results.
8. Evaluate and redesign.
This year, I resolved to challenge my students with one STEM engineering design process activity each month. To achieve this, I paired each of my favorite design investigations with a simple, straightforward design process template. Wow! My students’ engagement, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the design process has skyrocketed!
Additional Science Units:
• Introduction to the Scientific Method
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for ideas and freebies. I publish a new post for teachers of grades three through five every week.
Version 2 uploaded on May 26, 2016