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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. 

Engineering Design Challenges

Each week, students will participate in a series of at least ten 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.  

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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 our Director, Dr. Laura Bottomley, 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 parents and family during the exhibition hours on Friday afternoon.