Introduce Your Kids to the Engineering Design Process
See the engineering design process in action here with a STEM fairy tale challenge (the steps will be the same).
The Engineering Design Process for KidsThe engineering design process is a way to solve problems in a methodical way. This simple, 5 step process will become second nature as you tackle more and more engineering design challenges.
STEM Challenge - Design a Transport Device
The first of the challenges is very basic: design a device to transport an object (where you don't use your hands at all). Two of the suggestions are to transport pencils and paperback books, and there are also suggestions for materials to use, though you can always use what you have on hand. All of these devices were made with paper, tape, cardboard tubes, string, and plastic cups.
Here is a fun design where the case slides back and forth. This one worked for both pencils and the books!
I love this idea to make a belt with a pencil holder! Here is the front:
and the back! It can be tied and untied. How fun!
Design a Tower STEM Activity
STEM engineering design challenge #2 is to design a power transmission tower. This challenge uses pipe cleaners, which are an interesting building material. They are fairly rigid but can be formed into other shapes by twisting and bending.
The towers might be on the simple side:
...or get really complicated!
Once you have worked through the EDP a few times, it will become more methodical and you can use it in future STEM challenges. If you have tried these challenges, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
Find more details by clicking on these resources: