To introduce girls to two concepts used in engineering, namely design and manufacturing.


6 drills
20 pairs of safety glasses
12 screw drivers
6 pieces of wood
paper and pencils


  1. Talk to the girls about design. Someone has an idea. I have todesign it, i.e. make something that will work. I want to transform the idea to a final product. Design Considerations: reliable, cost effective, aesthetically pleasing, form follows function, ergonomic. Design problems always ask the same question: I need item x for doing y. How am I going to make x?

  2. In this case, describe how a drill works. Normally, the engineer doesn't have the final product in her hands, but tell about the design.

  3. Drill holes in wood. Have the girls decide what is inside the drill and have them explain their ideas to others.

  4. Open the drill. Examine each part, compare what you see with what you thought you would see.

  5. As the girls are looking at the drills, explain what is inside and why. Have them draw a picture of the inside of the drill. Explain that engineering is about coming up with new or better designs. This product has a continuation evolution and is mature but if someone can come up with a better design, then that's great. Other products are less mature like automated cars, etc.

  6. Have the girls reassemble their drills.

  7. Discuss Manufacturing considerations:
    Material - why use that?
    How to make parts?
    Assembly - cheapest, best reliability.

  8. Have the girls look at their drawings of the inside of the drill.Give a general explanation of how the motor works.

  9. Give a brief explanation of other designs:
    Pictures of SR71 blackbird
    Smart buildings (i.e. buildings with sensors in them that detect failure and alert others)
    Automated integrated circuit production line
    Self-driving cars

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