Engineering Process

Competency 663.1.7: Improving Investigations and Communication – The graduate uses technology tools and mathematics to improve investigations and the communication of results.
Competency 663.1.8: Hypotheses and Scientific Investigations – The graduate formulates testable hypotheses for scientific investigations.
Competency 663.1.9: Carrying Out Investigations in Science – The graduate conducts investigations in science to solve open-ended problems using appropriate scientific methods.
Science and engineering rely heavily on a combination of knowledge and practice. Scientists apply the process for experimentation to investigate and describe the world, while engineers apply a design process to build solutions to problems. While each process is often described as a sequence of linear steps, this is rarely how it works. Typically, the process is more iterative as new information may cause a step backwards or may cause steps to be repeated.
Engaging in these science and engineering practices not only develops important skills, but it also increases an awareness of how scientific knowledge evolves, increases awareness for the connections between science and engineering, and provides motivation in the development of deep understandings of scientific concepts.
In this task, you will apply the engineering design process to define and solve a problem. You will submit a final report that describes the problem, your solution, and the process you used to design, build, test, and refine your solution.
Note: This task requires you to create a proposed solution to an everyday, common problem of your choosing that can be found in your general environment. You should be able to propose a possible solution to the problem and create a simple model, using everyday items, to test your solution, as described in the course learning resources.
A. Define a problem of your choosing that requires applying engineering practices to solve by doing the following:
Note: Refer to the Science Buddies web link below for ideas of appropriate problems.
1. Describe the problem that needs to be solved.
2. Discuss why it is meaningful to solve this problem.
3. Describe the constraints and specifications for a successful solution.
B. Describe the solution to the problem you chose in part A by doing the following: 1. Describe your solution.
2. Discuss applications of the solution.
3. Discuss limitations of the solution.
4. Discuss the scientific concepts that underlie the solution.

C. Describe the process you used to design, build, test, and refine the solution by doing the following:
1. Describe important information learned during background research. 2. Create a list of possible solutions.

3. Justify the selection of the most viable solution.
Note: In order to analyze potential solutions, it may be useful to use the Problem-Solving Matrix Template at the link below.
4. Describe challenges that were overcome during development or prototyping.
5. Describe how the selected solution was tested.
6. Describe the modifications that were needed to improve or refine the selected solution.
D. Compare the engineering design process with the experimentation process often used by scientists.
E. When you use sources, include all in-text citations and references in APA format.
Note: No more than a combined total of 30% of a submission can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from outside sources, even if cited correctly. For tips on using APA style, please refer to the APA Handout web link included in the APA Guidelines section.
Note: You may not use living vertebrate animals as subjects in your test/experiment. Vertebrate animals are animals with a backbone. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals are all vertebrate animals. Examples of vertebrate animals include frogs, lizards, snakes, dogs, cats, and humans. Your experiment for Task 3 may not involve testing/experimenting on living vertebrate animals. If you are not sure whether your design/experiment topic is acceptable, please contact a course mentor BEFORE you conduct your test/experiment. Experiments or tests that use living vertebrate animals will not be accepted for Task 3.
1. Problem-Solving Matrix Template –
2. Science Buddies – – choosingaproject
Ideas for problems
Uncomfortable airplane seats
When one light on a string of Christmas lights goes out
How quickly chewing gum loses flavor
Moving (packing boxes, cleaning, unpacking, etc.)
Public restrooms without toilet paper
Long lines at amusement parks
When food gets stuck in vending machines
Dog or cat hair that gets stuck on clothing
Sharing armrests with strangers at the movies
Wasting water in the shower
Losing one earring
Draining tuna fish cans