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Students Learn About Engineering Design

(Gibsonia, PA – October 3, 2018) Eden Hall Upper Elementary students are learning more about the engineering design process as they participate in a STEM Design lesson in sixth grade under the direction of GATE teachers Jennifer Kopach and Joanna Sovek.


The engineering design process involves a series of steps that engineers follow when they are trying to solve a problem and design a solution. The process is very similar to the scientific method.  First, students are brainstorming ideas by determining which goals they want to achieve. Secondly, they are designing a blueprint. Then, they are building, testing, evaluating, and revising. Eventually, they will share their solutions and indicate what they would do differently.

Students are incorporating these steps as they work on building a sustainable building, which is required to be at least one meter tall and can hold the weight that is determined by the teachers. Students are participating in this process during RAM Time. They are using K’Nex Building systems.

Students will then present their final product at the Engineering Expo on Nov. 1 and Nov 2, 2018. Students will be judged on creativity, teamwork, design, and overall success. Students must include a presentation, blueprints, and budget.  Each group could solicit fines for not cleaning up, being noisy, and disruptive.

Sixth-grader Nia Marsh says her team’s name may be called the Indecisive Ones, but they finally came down to a design decision. She says she enjoys this STEM Challenge

“It is a great way to get your mind working and completing a real-world activity,” she said.

Sixth-grader Jonas Whitsel said that he learned what was the least supportive in his design.
“It can crash due to a mistake,” he said.

All of the students will participate in the Engineering Expo at EH. Some will then take their design to competition at Duquesne University, which is hosted by the Allegheny Intermediate. Successful school groups have the opportunity to move on to the state level competition.