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        Iterate to Improve the Prototype | Engineering for Good

        What changes will you make to your prototype to improve it? Students will iterate and improve their design. This is lesson 8 of 10 in Engineering for Good, a NGSS-aligned, project-based learning unit.

        KQED Teach is here to support you in doing these projects with your students. We encourage you to take or review our self-paced courses, Making Infographics and Video Storytelling Essentials, prior to beginning this unit if you are not already regularly integrating media projects into your classroom. Sign up is required (and free) to access courses.

        Engineering for Good Unit

        Lesson Summary

        In this lesson, students will work in small groups to make changes to their prototypes to improve their design for addressing their problem.

        Time Allotment

        60 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Students will work in small groups to make changes to their prototypes to improve their design for addressing their problem.

        Supplies

        Essential Question

        What changes will you make to your prototype to improve it?

        Introductory Activity

        Introduction/Hook

        1. Review the Engineering Design Process diagram on page 3 of the Engineering for Good student notebook. Discuss the next step of the process, “iterate to improve your prototype.” Explain that iterate just means making changes to your design to improve it.

        2. Review/recall the Engineering Is Diagnosing Diseases with Origami Microscopes story. As a class, discuss how the engineers and scientists changed their design. What are some examples of the changes (e.g. added a light)?

        Learning Activities

        Guided Practice

        1. In small groups, have students review their feedback from other groups (or results from testing their design, if they were able to).

        • Did the prototype work as intended (if tested)? 
        • What was successful? 
        • What were the problems? What questions did the other groups have about how the model worked?
        • What could be improved? 

        2. Ask students to decide upon at least two ways they will change their prototypes to improve them, based on the feedback they received, and to explain why. They can record these on page 16 of their notebooks.

        3. Have each group share with the rest of the class one way they are going to change their prototype to improve it.

        Independent Practice

        1. In small groups, students work to make changes to their prototypes to improve their design for addressing their problem.

        2. Students develop their final model. They may use page 17 of their student notebooks for drawings of their designs and to provide additional details. Note: As part of this project, students will create videos of their solutions. Keeping this in mind, they should be able to show/demonstrate their solution. Final models may be

        • Detailed pencil-and-paper drawings or images--more than one may be necessary to show how the product works
        • Digital drawings or images
        • A physical prototype made with basic materials

        3. In preparation for producing videos, have students brainstorm and decide on a name for their devices/products. They can write it down on page 17 of their notebooks.

        Culminating Activity

        Assessment/Reflection

        Did students make changes to their prototypes based on the feedback they received, either from testing or from their peers? Did they come up with a final model?

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