Reflection: Problem-based Approaches I Have to Teach Engineering?? - Section 4: Expand


Teaching the lesson is usually far more difficult than writing the lesson plan and this is especially true when I use Design Squad. I like to use the Design Squad episodes because I want my students to understand that the design process is not linear. The Design Process organizer can be difficult for many students because they think the ideas are in order. When I teach the design process, I ask them to circle important words to help them remember a word associated with a step. Understanding the organizer is sometimes harder for the kids than understanding the movie. 

The design process is more of a dynamic process in which inspiration can come at any moment. When using the movies, testing occurs at every stage and can be a survey, an opinion, or an exclamation. In the movie there is a character that says, "I couldn't sleep because I wanted to ride in the park." This exclamation of excitement can be the evidence of the best solution or it can be an interpretation of the best solution. The correct answer is not the point to me. My strategy is for the students to feel the excitement and understand how the design process is a deliberate way to create a strong, collaborative design. 

Design Squad has a great teacher reference that breaks down the design process into lessons. They include lesson plans that tie to entertaining contemporary videos. If your class needs to go more slowly or if you have additional time, check out the cool lessons on Design Squad. 

  Problem-based Approaches: Design Squad Lessons
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I Have to Teach Engineering??

Unit 1: Exploring Engineers and the Design Process
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT identify the steps of the design process to recognize how engineers create designs.

Big Idea: How can I teach engineering? Take a look at this lesson on the basics of engineering and the design process.

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