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Students Put Engineering Design Process to Test

Engineering Expo Eden Hall Upper Elementary students are learning more about the engineering design process as they participate in a STEM Design lesson in fifth grade under the direction of GATE teachers Jennifer Kopach and Joanna Sovek.

GATE teachers reminded students that when engineers solve a problem, their first solution is rarely their best. Instead, they will try different ideas, learn from mistakes, and try again. The series of steps engineers use to arrive at a solution is called the design process

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.

When asked about strategies for building, one fifth grader suggested an important subject.

“Geometry helps engineers by helping them visualize how they are going to build the bridge structure,” said fifth-grader Eli Lenz

Students are incorporating these steps as they work on building a bridge, which is required to hold the weight that is determined by the teachers. Students used Popsicle sticks, blue, pie cleaners, string, cardboard, toothpicks, and more.

Sixth graders also used the engineering design process by creating rollercoasters. In addition, the students were challenged to develop and implement an advertising/marketing campaign for their new ride. Students used K’Nex Building systems.

Students will then present their final products at the Engineering Expo on Nov. 5 (fifth graders) and Nov 6, 2019 (sixth graders Students are judged on creativity, teamwork, design, and overall success. Students must include a presentation, blueprints, and budget.