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A.A.4 | Engineering Design Thinking

Created by: Modular Robotics

Lesson Overview:

This lesson will introduce students to different types of engineers and the Engineering Design Process. This is not an exploratory lesson, instead the students will be viewing some videos to help them build a framework for future success.

The Basics:
Ages: 13 – 17 years (grades 7-12)
Time: 30-45 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Lesson Goal (for the educator): Introduce students to the different types of engineers and the Engineering Design Process
Lesson Objectives (for the students): I understand there are many different types of engineers that solve problems using the Engineering Design Process.
Essential Questions: What do engineers do? What is the Design Process?
21st Century Skills: Communication and collaboration
Concepts: The Design Process, the many roles of different types of Engineers
Vocabulary: Design Process, rebuilding, tinkering, users, mechanical, civil, biological, environmental, electrical, prototype
Required Cubelets: None needed
Additional Materials: Device to show the videos, Student Robotics Journal

Prior Knowledge Necessary for the Student:

None Needed

Prior Knowledge for the Educator:

In advance, view the videos included in this lesson. An understanding of the many different types of engineers, and the Design Process. Here are some references:

Educator Tips:
  • A few days before this lesson, ask students to find out if they know an engineer (not a train conductor!), and ask them to find out what type of engineer that person is and what kinds of problems they solve. Tell your students they will have a chance to share this in class.
  • Cover/hide any posters you may have explaining the Design Process because students will later be sketching out their own version of this process.


Set up the necessary devices needed to show the lesson videos.

Lesson Plan Assets and Resources:

Click the buttons to download the Robot Journal and Extra Journal Pages


Time: 3-5 Minutes
“What are engineers? Does anyone know an engineer and can tell us about him/her and what kinds of problems they solve?” Lead a quick discussion about engineers and see what the students already know about the different types, what they do, the design process, types of problems they solve, etc.

Time to Explore:
    Time: 14 Minutes
  1. Show the videos – Parts 1 and 2:
  2. Time: 3-5 Minutes

  3. Lead a discussion based on the two videos. Be sure to review that engineers use the design process to try to solve problems by:
    1. Brainstorming (Imagine)
    2. Designing (Plan)
    3. Building (Create)
    4. Testing (Improve)
    5. Analyzing and Evaluating (Ask)
    6. Repeating the process until they come up with a solution
    Time: 5-10 Minutes
  4. “Now, I would like you to make a small poster depicting the Engineering Design Process as you see it.”
  5. Allow students time to do this and then share with the class.
  6. Keep these so that later, as they work with the design process, you can have them refer back to them and make changes.

    Time: 5-7 Minutes
  1. Give students time to record their thoughts about this lesson in their Robotics journal.

End Results:

Students will be exposed to different types of engineers and the problems they solve. They will also be exposed to the Engineering Design Process.

Optional Quick Write for Prompt and/or Evaluation:

If you could work on solving an engineering problem, what type of engineer would you be, what problem would you like to solve, and how might you solve the problem?

What to go to Next:
For More Review:
  • Repeat the current lesson, Engineering Design Thinking – A.A.4
If Objectives Are Met:
  • Engineering Problem Solving A.A.5
To Enhance and Extend:

None available

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.