Reflection: Standards Alignment Designing a Wind Turbine (Part 1) - Section 3: Design Problem Rationale


Engineers and designers commonly use a document called a Design Brief as a form of communication. The Design Brief outlines the responsibilities of the designer with an eye on the designer/client shared solution to the design problem. The Design Brief typically includes design constraints, budgets, time, and contractual terms. I have used a Design Brief to help students understand how the project is laid out but my success was limited. It was a fill-in-the-blank document that didn't have the rigor I was seeking.

When the integration of the Common Core Standards began, I adjusted the purpose of the Design Brief and began to pull in contemporary articles. I asked students to explain why the design problem is important. With the change, the student writing improved dramatically. 

One of the advantages of using textual evidence is that it gives the writing legitimacy. It is very clear to the students when they add a quote and a citation, the writing becomes stronger. There are times when a student will choose random information to gratuitously add textual evidence. This becomes a great lesson in organization and flow of the writing. With peer edits and by checking on the students as they work, I formatively assess writing to help students understand the power of a quote. 

  Choosing Textual Evidence
  Standards Alignment: Choosing Textual Evidence
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Designing a Wind Turbine (Part 1)

Unit 7: Designing for the Future: Wind Turbine Design
Lesson 1 of 7

Objective: SWBAT explain why designing a wind turbine is an important design problem.

Big Idea: Design matters. To create authenticity in engineering, students work to explain why it is important to design a wind turbine blade.

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