Unit Overview

Year 2This Unit is a Refresher Course for Year 2

Students rediscover the steps of the Design Thinking process by working together to construct a ship capable of carrying cargo. They then apply this process to analyze a new set of historical engineering successes and failures.

  • Lesson 1
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    THE SOLVE

    In The Solve, students will: Examine the Marco Polo, the largest container ship to ever reach the ports on the east coast of the United States. Students will then be challenged to construct a ship capable of supporting the most cargo. They will compare ship designs and reflect on the design process to determine which steps of the Design Thinking process were utilized.

  • Lesson 2
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    THE MAKE

    In The Make, students will: Analyze a variety of historical engineering successes and failures. They will then evaluate the steps of the Design Thinking process utilized by engineers in order to pinpoint where the engineering and design process succeeed or failed.

  • Next Generation Science Standards
    3-5 ETS1-2
    Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    3-5 ETS1-3
    Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
    ETS1-1
    Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
    ETS1-2
    Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    ETS1-3
    Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
    MS-ETS1-1
    Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
    MS-ETS1-2
    Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    MS-ETS1-3
    Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
    MS-ETS1-4
    Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
  • Inquiry Scale
    • Each lesson in the unit has an Inquiry Scale that provides directions on how to implement the lesson at the level that works best for you and your students.
    • “Level 1” is the most teacher-driven, and recommended for students in 4th-5th grades. “Level 4” is the most student-driven, and recommended for students in 7th-8th grades.
    • For differentiation within the same grade or class, use different inquiry levels for different groups of students who may require additional support or an extra challenge.
  • Common Misconceptions
    • Students may believe that Design Thinking is only used by engineers, but in fact this process is used in many areas and across many industries.
    • Learners may believe that since the steps of Design Thinking are presented in a specific order they must always follow them exactly as shown. Reinforce to students that Design Thinking is a creative process that may take different paths.
    • Students may initially think that a prototype should only be tested once. Emphasize to students that prototypes typically need to be tested and the design needs to be refined and retested a number of times before a final engineered product is produced. Through multiple tests, multiple variables can be identified and tested to make a more successful product.
    • Learners may be inclined to go with the first idea they come up with. Reinforce that brainstorming is a very important component to the process, and encourage students to be open to many ideas.
    • Students may not realize that prototypes need to use proper proportions and should be designed from similar materials to that of the actual engineered product to test efficiency of materials.
  • Vocabulary
      • Design Thinking
      • Brainstorm
      • Ideate
      • Prototype
      • Test
      • Refine
      • Retest