Experiment I: ENGINEERING DESIGN LAB


Prepared by Deborah Foreman

Objective
To teach concepts of engineering design and teamwork using K'nex pieces.

Materials
* Handouts for each girl entitled "The Design Process"
* 9 Intermediate K'Nex kits which include the following pieces:

        Connectors                            Number
        Beige                                      	15
        Light Gray                               	15
        Green                                     	30
        Red                                       	25
        White                                     	50
        Gray                                      	30
        Yellow                                    	50
        Blue                                       	50
        Purple                                    	50
        Orange                                  	40

        Rods                                  Number
        Black/Gray                                	38
        Red                                     	60
        Yellow                                  	60
        Blue                                     	50
        White                                   	30
        Green                                   	20

Procedure
1. Explain how all different types of engineers work together in teams and that each of them contributes a different form of expertise to the project.

2. Distribute engineering design handout while dividing the girls into groups of 3 or 4 depending on the number of girls in the group.

3. Go through design handout explaining problem to be solved using the steps on the handout.

a. Problem Statement - to build the highest free standing structure
b. Look at Materials - K'nex kits
c. Develop Strategy - Look at pieces see how they work and what you can do with them
d. Predict Result - What would you like your structure to look like
e. Build and Rebuild
f. Measure and Report - will be done together at the end of the session
g. Observe - look at everyone's design and explain that there are a variety of correct solutions for every problem.
4. After building is complete, compliment each group efforts individually by making a positive comment about their structure and reminding them that there are numerous solutions to every problem.

5. Leave the tallest structure standing for the group photo at the end

Note: All participants get in a group photo with the winning K'nex structures.
The photo is sent to the school as a momento of the day.

6. Ask the girls to take the other ones down and put the pieces away.


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