On Your Own: A Stem Project
In Math by Design, your students have tried on some of the procedures in the engineering design process, a creative system of thinking and problem solving. These steps are sometimes defined this way:
- Define the problem
- Gather pertinent information
- Generate multiple solutions
- Analyze and select a solution
- Test and implement the solution
Although these steps are written and read sequentially, in practice they represent phases of a process that is very iterative and creative in nature. As Dr. Seyyed Khandani says, there are probably as many design processes as there are engineers.
In this project, your students will create a fitness trail for Topston while experiencing all the phases of the engineering design process.
The activity is available as a self-contained workbook that you can reprint. The workbook contains everything that students need to complete this activity independently, with the support of the Internet and/or other reference materials.
On Your Own: Fitness Trail workbook
Need to know more about the engineering design process? Check out Dr. Seyyed Khandani’s explanation here. In this paper, Engineering Design Process, Education Transfer Plan, Dr. Khandani explores the various avenues that this kind of thinking follows.
This article was written during Dr. Khandani’s summer fellowship at Solectron Corporation in Milpitas, California. This fellowship was coordinated by the Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME) in 2005. It is available here through the kind permission of the author.