442727 Engineering Design Process in Education

Monday, November 9, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Katherine Mayer, Bucknell, Lewisburg, PA and Margot Vigeant, Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

The goal of this research project was to use the granola bar design curriculum from Bucknell University’s engineering camp and modify it into lesson plans that it could be used in a high school setting. By doing this, we hope to increase the knowledge of engineering and the engineering design process in high school students. If more students are aware of engineering as a career and how the design process works, we hope to attract more students into this field of study.

The completed project includes lesson plans for a step-by-step walkthrough of the engineering design process using the design of a granola bar as an example. Students begin the process by performing background research on relevant food regulations and current granola bar designs. From here, they follow the design process throughout the lesson until they reach the final week where they present their findings formally to their peers. The lesson plans are complete with worksheets for teachers or educators to use in the classroom in order to lead students through the design process. The plans also include suggestions for outside sources to use as supplements. Finally, the plans are written in such a way that they would be easy to follow for anyone unfamiliar with engineering. However they still allow the user to modify them if desired in order to make them their own.

For future work on this project, we would like to run the experiments in the lesson ourselves to smooth out any errors in the existing plan. The other worksheets to accompany this plan also need to be completed and any other resources we would like to use, such as videos or other media also need to be created or found. As a final goal we would like to test this lesson plan in action at our contact school so that we can get feedback and make the necessary changes before the plan can, hopefully, be made available to any high school teacher for use in their classroom.

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