Academic journal article Technology and Engineering Teacher

Middle School Design Brief: Fix My Classroom!

Academic journal article Technology and Engineering Teacher

Middle School Design Brief: Fix My Classroom!

Article excerpt

The 7th grade Engineering byDesign[TM] Invention and Innovation course allows students to explore the Engineering Design Process through hands-on problem-solving activities. Students are challenged to think critically about our human-made world. Students participate in engineering design activities to understand how criteria, constraints, and processes affect designs. Students are involved in activities and experiences where they learn about brainstorming, visualizing, modeling, constructing, testing, experimenting, and refining designs. Students also develop skills in researching for information, communicating design information, and reporting results.

Lesson One challenges students to identify problems within their classrooms. Fix my Classroom creates a need for students to not only be aware of the problems around them but to create the necessary solutions to fix them. Students create a list of classroom problems; for example, pencils falling off desks, losing papers, etc. Student teams choose a problem from the list and brainstorm ideas about designing an invention that can "fix" the problem.

To document the process, students use an Engineering Design Journal. Each student documents the group's brainstorming in his or her journal. In order to move forward in the process, the instructor must sign off on each group's idea. …

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