Define The Challenge

Team Design Challenge:  Redesign a boat hull to improve speed.

Next Generation Science Standards
MS-ETS1-1.Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
MS-ETS1-2.Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-ETS1-3.Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
MS-ETS1-4.Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

Goal:  Investigate how the shape of a boat hull affects the drag force on the boat as it moves through water.
Goal:  Cycle through the engineering/design thinking process.

Engineering - Design Thinking Process
   image: IDEO          

Take a look at the rubric below.  A skill that we want to develop with this project is collaboration within a team.  Many employers are looking for people who can work well with others.

Your team will evaluate you several times during the project.  See the rubric below to see what will be expected of you.

Peer Evaluation and Teamwork Rubric


1.  Obtain your Engineer's Notebook
  1. Go to Sites (black bar)
  2. Click the red CREATE button
  3. Click on Browse The Gallery For More
  4. In the search box, search for rickard engineer's notebook  (In GAPE schools, click on Public first)
  5. Click on it
  6. Click on view template
  7. Click the blue USE TEMPLATE button 
  8. Name your template: (firstname)notebook  -  Example:  AustinNotebook

2.  Step One:  Empathy  Peer Evaluation and Teamwork Rubric
In the business world, engineers & designers have clients.  Clients come to the engineer with a need.  It is the job of the engineer to find out about the need of the client.  One way to do that is through an interview.

Empathy is understanding another's needs from their perspective.  You put yourself in the other person's shoes.  Many engineers design from the engineer's perspective, not the client.

The world renown design firm IDEO recognized this problem and revised their design process to include empathy.

For this project, Ms. Rickard is the client.  It is your team's job to come up with questions for the client to find out about the need, criteria, and constraints.  See number 2 below for some ideas for your questions.

TEAMS:  Get to work. Use a Whiteboard and a Google Doc to brainstorm and record your client questions.

15 minutes

3.  Define The Challenge Peer Evaluation and Teamwork Rubric
After you have completed your client interview, it is time for your team to define the challenge.

Defining the challenge means describing the requirements for the new product that you are developing. Requirements include criteria, or the desired elements of the final product, and constraints, limitations to the design or the design process. Criteria such as attractive design and load carrying ability help you choose the best solution to the problem. Constraints such as size, time, available materials, and cost for construction help you eliminate attractive but impractical solutions.

SOLO:  Record your team's ideas in your Engineer's Notebook.

4.  Make A Claim
Before you begin, answer the questions below.  This is not a test so don't cheat and Google this!  :)  It is a survey to find out what ideas you have about boats.  At the end of the project, you will answer the question again to see if you change your mind.

Directions:  There are two main types of boats:  planing and displacement.  Look at the blue picture above.  Which hull shape do you think will be faster?  Why do you think that?  Record your ideas below.

Construct A Boat - Make A Claim

Results of the poll:

All lessons adapted from NSTA's Construct A Boat, part of Science by Design Series.  Copyright 2000.  Permission is granted in advance for the reproduction of short portions of this book for the purpose of classroom or workshop instruction.

Additional Resource Material