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Lesson 1: Engineering and the Design Process

Engineers have a hand in designing, creating, and modifying nearly everything we touch, wear, eat, see, and hear in our daily lives.

American Society of Engineering Education

The conceptual definition of engineering is the application of creativity and teamwork using math and science principles as tools to solve problems. Engineering combines the interests and hobbies of an individual, with the passion of learning to create a product that benefits the world. Engineers shape the world we live in.

Throughout this unit, we will record problems that you think need to be solved using the Unit Problem Log.  It will stay in your binder and you can use it anytime you think of a problem that needs to be solved.   You don't have to worry about a solution, just list the problem.  Everyone's problem lists should be different, the problems you list are those that are important to YOU. You will also need to indicate who may be impacted by the problem...does it affect you, your family, your community, your country, or the world?  Try to stay away from abstract problems, such as "My Little sister Bugs me."  How can this problem be made more specific?  Let's try some together!

Things that bug me.PNG
TASK 1: Independent Exploration

Review the following videos that showcase great inventions of the past decades to come up with a "Top Ten" list of inventions. 

Top Ten Future Technologies

TASK 2: Design Thinking

 The Iterative Design Process

When engineers set out to solve a problem, their first solution is rarely their best. Instead, they tinker, try different ideas, fail, learn from mistakes, and try again. The series of steps engineers use to arrive at a solution is called the design process.


You can approach almost any problem using the steps of the design process—it's a great way to come up with lots of ideas, improve a design, and learn from mistakes. In fact, the design process is something people use every day—planning an outing, writing a letter, making breakfast, or doing any task where they create something that did not exist before.

NERF Toy Engineers

Vacuum Air Hockey

Design a Roller Coaster

How Do Hover Shoes Work

Play the Invention Adventure
Check out an Invention Adventure game to play with your students! 




  • Go to the NEWS FOR KIDS website and select 3 articles that interest you and read them.

  • Complete the Lesson 1: In the News Organizer for each article, beginning with a citation - which is required to properly credit the information you have read.

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