Let's be honest. Most science teachers are not trained scientists. Some are, like me, but most are not. However, most science teachers do have a background in science. WOOHOO! Win. Let's flip this coin and look at the engineering side. Barely ANY science teachers are engineers, much less have any sort of engineering training or background. This is a problem! NGSS is requiring us teachers to incorporate engineering into the science classroom, and I'm gonna argue that 98% (I completely made this number up) of all science teachers don't really have a clue as to what engineering really is about. This is a HUGE problem! We had better figure this out FAST!
Focus on Unknown
Ask questions then find answers
Find the laws of nature
Tell engineers what to make
Focus on known
Use answers to make inventions
Use the laws of nature
Tell scientists the constraints to product ideas
- Come up with a problem.
- Come up with ideas.
- Establish a plan.
- Build the idea.
- Improve upon the build
- Come up with a problem again?
I was even more confused.
I went back to my husband and I asked him, “Scientists use the scientific method. What the heck do engineers use? I’m looking at this circle and it doesn’t make sense.” He laughed and said the circular model was not accurate.
So now, I take the circle and analyze it as the V-model and I'm left with the following.
- Purpose: State the problem and/or identify the product needed
- Requirements: Identify the requirements of the product (physical, functional, interface)
- Design and build product based off of requirements
- Test product
- Validate/verify product
- Fix product as needed until requirements and purpose are met
PURPOSE: Design a parachute that will slow the descent of a container from 2 meters to a max speed of 5 m/s, prevent the item inside (a chip) from being damaged and land within the target area of 0.5 m diameter.
- Can only use supplies provided (paper, plastic, string, tape, rubber bands, scissors)
- Cannot be bigger than 1 meter in all directions
- Must slow the descent of the package
- Max velocity before it hits ground should be no more than 5 m/s
- Must deliver the item (chip) undamaged
- Parachute must open up on its own
- Must land within target area of 0.5 meter diameter
- Must easily attached to the box without damaging the box, easy to remove
DESIGN/BUILD: You will have 1 week to design and build your parachute.
EXPERIMENT: You must test your parachute, provide evidence of your testing
VALIDATION/VERIFICATION: You will fill out the paperwork in order to validate the purpose was met and verify that your design was built to the stated requirements. You can see the rubric below that the students used to measure the verification of their requirements. The rest of the paperwork had students calculating, drawing, etc.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this project is to make an informative flyer about a specific type of cell found in a human body (leukocyte, hepatocyte, erythrocyte, etc).
- Can only use paper
- Cannot be larger than 8.5 x 11.
- Need at least 4 images (drawing or actual pictures)
- Must provide information to the reader about
- The type of cell you are presenting
- Where is the cell found
- What the cell does for the human body
- Organelles in cell and their function
- What happens to the human body if this cell doesn’t exist and why
- Must be held by human hands
- Must be written for English readers
EXPERIMENTATION: Students will test the effectiveness of their flyer. They need to design and perform and experiment to test whether or not their flyer is informative. Provide evidence of its effectiveness.
VALIDATION/VERIFICATION: Students need to explain how the purpose was met. Students need to verify that all requirements were met. (This can be done on worksheets and as a rubric as seen in my parachute example)