“Science is the study of the world as it is; Engineering is the creation of the world of tomorrow” – Theodore von Karman.

This two-day workshop is based on materials developed for a semester-long introductory engineering class, and on lesson plans developed for the IEEE’s TryEngineering.com outreach project. Participants will spend two days unpacking the layers, strategies and guiding tools for 3 or 4 student-mode lessons/activities that center on the Engineering Design Process. The purpose of the workshop is to provide teachers with near-classroom-ready lessons and hands-on experience to effectively implement the engineering-design cycle in a K-12 environment using inexpensive “low-tech” materials like cardboard, paper clips, chopsticks, clothespins, rubber bands, string, aluminum foil, recycled bottles, and masking tape. Time will also be devoted to alignment with the NGSS.

On day 1, participants in “student mode” working in small teams will design and implement solutions to a number of engineering-design “challenges”. As with most engineering tasks, the problem or goal for each challenge will be defined; a prototype solution will be designed and constructed using limited resources; the prototype will be tested and assessed; and as time permits, the design will be revised and reassessed. An appreciation of the available resources and materials is integral to this process, and part of these challenges will involve simulated economic considerations.

On day 2, participants will work in teams to develop one or more lesson plans tailored to their students, and then share and receive feedback from the entire group. We will also review additional resources and ideas for (1) incorporating physics concepts into the various challenges, (2) learning about patents and product design, and (3) investigating different types of engineering careers. As time permits, we will engage in several student-mode activities related to these other topics.

Participants should bring a laptop computer and lots of creativity!

Leader: Paul Feffer

August 10 – 11, 2020