UCHS CS1 - Unit C: Algorithms & the Design Process
The Engineering Design Process (300 pts)
Note: You can only complete this unit after our Manic Mondays Presentation on the Engineering Design Process.
STEP 1: Define the Problem
a. Review NASA's Intro to Engineering Video.
b. Review the Engineering Design Process Infographic .
c. Get yourEngineering Design Notebook from Instructor. Read what you
should include in your notebook.
d. Read how to select your problem to solve.
e. Complete the Engineering Project Proposal and turn in to get approved.
Step 4: Brainstorm, Evaluate, and Choose a Solution
#1 Rule to follow in the design process. Do not use your first idea. Good designers come up with as many possible solutions as they can. Then they decide on the best one, or combine ideas from each idea into one great solution.
a. Most great ideas rest on several failures. Read about the most inspiring
failures. Pick another idea that started as a failure, and write a short paragraph
about it in your portfolio.
b. Watch this video of an innovative design company in action.
c. Create a mindmap as you brainstorm ideas for your design. Use the diagram
below or research how to "mind map" and make sure you use the brainstorming
guidelines. See your instructor before beginning this task. You will need large
post-it paper and some guidance.
d. Use your mind map to select or create your best design solution. Draw the
mind map of the final design idea in your design notebook.
STEP 2: Do Background Research
a. Do background research on users or customers.
b. Network with other students and people.
c. Are there other similar ideas out there? How would yours be different?
d. Are there safety issue or environmental issues to consider before creating a
e. Record your research in your notebook.
Step 3: Specify Your Requirements
Your design requirements are the specific needs that must be met in order to call your design a solution. This is where you work on the details. Depending on the problem, your solution can take on several forms:
b. Be careful to keep your design requirements simple for this class project.
If you have too many requirements, you might not be able to come up with a
feasible solution. Read this to clarify.
c. if you are having trouble coming up with requirements, here is a list of
d. In your design notebook, create a table to record the major needs of your
solution and what is essential to meet those needs.
Step 5: Develop and Prototype Solution
Development refines the idea and continues throughout the design process. A prototype is the actual operating version of the solution. It is usually made up of different materials than the original, and is not as refined. For this class we will stopping the design process with the prototype and testing.
a. Create drawings or storyboards of your how you want to build your prototype.
Look for problem areas and further refine the solution. Add these drawings to
your design notebook. Don't worry! Drawings don't have to be perfect!
b. Gather materials and create your prototype! This, your design notebook, etc
will be displayed at the Lyceum, so take plenty of time! Use readily available
materials and please keep costs down! These are mockups... not the real thing.
c. Come up with a name for your solution.
d. Take pictures of your prototype and add to your portfolio.
Step 6: Test, Redesign, Communicate Results
a. Test your design solution, and answer the following questions in your design
1. Are your users able to overcome the problem by using or interacting with
your solution? If yes, why are they successful? If no, what problems do they
encounter that prevent them from being successful?
2. Do the users ever need to ask you any questions when using or interacting
with your solution? If yes, what questions do they ask? During what part of
their interaction do they ask these questions?
3. Do the users interact with your solution exactly the way that you intended for
them to? If no, what do they do differently?
4. If you have measurable targets for your solution, did you meet them?
b. In your design notebook, write a paragraph about what your solution. This is
called an abstract. In a second paragraph, explain if you designed a prototype 2
what would be different? How would it make your solution better? Type this
abstract up and add it to your portfolio.