All humans have the ability to design and solve problems. Design is a creative process that allows people to solve problems, realize dreams, and implement ideas to improve lives. Good designs turn ideas into products and systems to meet the needs of the consumer. Engineers and designers use a systematic method of solving problems called the design process. Because there is never just one solution to a problem, the process of design is iterative – that means that potential solutions are continually tested and improved upon until the best possible solution under current circumstances is reached. As new technology is available, there may be new problems that arise and new solutions that become possible. Imagine if we were still driving the first practical gasoline-powered automobile invented, an open three-wheeled vehicle? Innovations to the automobile have occurred because new technology has become available and modern consumers demand more sophisticated systems to meet their needs and desires.
- Engineering notebook
- Computer with Internet access
- Headphones to plug into the computer
In this activity you will learn about the steps in the Design Process and apply them to a challenge completed by the PBS Kids Design Squad team.
TASK 1: Watch the explanation on the Design Process. Answer and record the answers to the question down below into your Engineering Notebook. Please use complete sentences when answering the question.
TASK 2: Now that you have a better understanding of the Design Process, let's watch an episode of PBS' Design Squad.
These questions should be answered individually, even if you’re working with a partner. Please answer each question in complete sentences.
- Why do we use the design process?
- Which stage of the design process do you think is the most important? Why?
- Teamwork is an important part of completing projects and design challenges. If you were working on a team, how would you contribute to the team?
- Which team won the challenge that you viewed? Based on what you saw, how would you explain their success?