The Engineering Design Process that we use is adapted from the version designed by Boston Museum of Science’s Engineering is Elementary program.

The Engineering Design Process is a consistent repetitive series of steps for developing or improving a product or system. Educators are encouraged to explain this 5-step process to students, as well as display it in their classrooms as a reference.

How can you apply this process at home? Check out a fun introductory activity with Jonathan Stacey from WBTV here. Encourage your children to come up with an even more creative zip line than Jonathan did. Ready for a more challenging activity? Give this wheelchair construction activity a try here!

Engineering Design Challenges

Each week, students will participate in a series of engineering design challenges. Engineering design challenges begin with a problem and have multiple constraints. A single challenge may relate to multiple fields of engineering. In many cases, the challenges require students to apply basic knowledge of math and science.

NC Dept. of Education K-12 Engineering Standards

We believe the engineering design process serves as the foundation for engineering education in general. We also encourage students to practice engineering habits of mind as these fundamental principles serve as valuable life skills regardless of academic focus.

We are very fortunate in that Dr. Laura Bottomley, director of NCSU The Engineering Place, contributed to the North Carolina Department of Public Education’s K-12 engineering standards. Please click this link below if you would like to read more about these standards.

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National Academy of Engineering 14 Grand Challenges

One more element of our curriculum that we are pleased to offer our students is exposure to the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges. These challenges were created by an international team of scientists and engineers who determined that the 14 grand challenges are the greatest engineering challenges faced by all societies. The link below will tell you more.

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Building Soft Skills

Students work on teams as they plan, design and create solutions for the engineering challenges. Effective collaboration and communication is very important but sometimes the most difficult to achieve. Our staff will focus heavily on effective communication strategies as they facilitate the build challenges. Also, our staff will coach teams on presentation skills as participants will be expected to articulate the challenge problems, constraints and solutions to their peers.

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