The Engineering Design Process
The design process provides a structured way to take an idea from its initial idea to its “finished product” stage, learning from mistakes that are made along the way. Engineers always expect to fail during the Design Process; they see failure and mistakes as steps that lead them to a good solution to the problem. The engineering Design Process give engineers a framework to help them solve problems.
- ASK: identify the problem; before building, engineers define the problem they want to solve and come up with a variety of solutions—the more, the better.
- IMAGINE: brainstorm the possibilities of the challenge; Engineers share their ideas about solutions with team members this is called collaboration.
- PLAN: think, sketch the design, label the working drawings; Engineers write and sketch their ideas and solutions. Their drawings are detailed and labeled.
- CREATE: make the prototype following your plan; Engineers gather materials and build.
- TEST: test the prototype to see what parts work well and what parts don’t; Engineers run tests on their prototype.
- IMPROVE: what needs to change to improve it; Engineers learn how to find what specific parts work well and what parts do not work well, then they work on fixing just those parts rather than beginning the whole project over which can waste valuable time.
- REFLECTION: give careful thought to the solution; Engineers present their work to colleagues to show how they solved a problem. They learn new ideas and approaches from each other.