This unit is meant to give you the freedom and flexibility to build something awesome! You’ve had a chance to learn a lot about digital circuits – now it’s your chance to turn those skills into a project of your own design. As we complete this unit, your job is to follow the engineering design process
- Make a plan for making something awesome
- Build it
- Communicate your process
You’ll start with the design brief that’s listed in Step 1, and from there get to develop and build whatever you want. Keep in mind the time constraints, and try to develop a project or idea that uses the tools we’ve talked about this semester – especially defining, simulating, and building electric circuits. As always, we’ll follow the Circuit Design Process and the Engineering Design Process as we work through this final semester project:
- STEP 1: Identify your project, brainstorm, and design what you want to build
- STEP 2: Build your prototype!
- STEP 3: Share your work with others and write-up a final reflection
When you’re done, you’ll have finished your project and our semester!
PART 1: DEFINE & DESIGN
(20 pts) About 2 days
All good projects start with a design brief and a clear description of the problem. You’ll start by looking through the provided design brief, and then brainstorming some fun things you can build. Decide what you want to work on – a new 3D model & print, a fancy project with the laser, a new robot out of spare parts, anything! Then draw up some detailed plans in your engineering notebook including dimensions and a parts list.
PART 2: PROTOTYPING
(20 pts) About 4 days
Get to work! Most of our work will start in a computer: maybe with Autodesk or Photoshop. Then we’ll transfer our work into the Makerspace as needed. Build a prototype, evaluate, and make any changes or adjustments you need to get something awesome!
PART 3: COMMUNICATE
(30 pts) About 2 days
Finally, we’ll share our process with our classmates and write a short reflection. The communication step is one of the most important in the Engineering Design Process, and we’ll take some time to practice those skills and to see what neat things other students created.
Part 1: Define & DesignClarify what you want to build and design it!
The first part of this project is all about coming up with ideas. Sit down and think about all the things we did this semester – the circuit design process, building circuits, breadboarding, and soldering – and brainstorm a list of “cool things” you could make! Then, pick something! The thing you choose to make does not have to be digital electronics related if you don’t want. You’ll get the unit to design and create an awesome project using the tools we learned in class. Decide what you want to make, and then make a careful drawing in your notebook that includes dimensions as well as a materials list.
GRADING & PROCESS
Brainstorm a list of at least 10 possible projects and choose one
Make a very careful drawing in your notebook of what you want to build; your drawing should be done in multiple ways and include dimensions as well as a materials list
Have Mr. Benshoof approve your idea
What’s Due In Part 1: Define & Design
- Brainstorm & Decide
- Draw & Plan
- Mr. Benshoof’s Approval
Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Define & Design
- Brainstorm at least 10 project ideas in your engineering notebook
- Draw a careful diagram of what you want to build, and include a list of materials needed
- Have Mr. Benshoof approve your design and plan
Part 2: PrototypingBuilding your prototype in the makerspace
A big part of our class all semester has been the building part. In this second part of the unit you get to put your plan into action and build your prototype! You’ll follow the plan you made in your engineering design notebook to start construction. Maybe your first step is a design in a computer, maybe it’s making some measurements and confirming dimensions, or maybe its further defining the problem. Once you’re ready, you’ll start actually building your prototype and work to get a final functional model.
GRADING & PROCESS
Follow your plan and build your prototype!
Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your final prototype
What’s Due In Part 2: Prototyping
- Mr. Benshoof’s check-off
Here’s what’s due in Part 2: Prototyping
- Build your prototype
- Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your final prototype
Part 3: CommunicateShare your work with other people!
The last part of any project is always to share your work with other people. Sometimes that will mean formal presentations, other times it’s more informal feedback sessions. For this project, we’ll take a day and share our work with the class and give each other feedback on our work. In addition, we’ll also write up a 1-page reflection in our engineering notebooks.
GRADING & PROCESS
Share your work with your class in our engineering roundtables
Write your project reflection in your engineering notebook
Have Mr. Benshoof confirm you written reflection
What’s Due In Part 3: Communication
- Engineering Roundtable
- Written Reflection
- Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation
Here’s what’s due in Part 3: Communication
- Share your work with your classmates in our engineering roundtable conversations
- You should have written your complete project reflection in your engineering notebook
- Have Mr. Benshoof confirm that your work is complete
Double Check: Unit ExpectationsCheck what you need to have completed by the unit deadline
(Part 1) Brainstorm, describe, and draw project plan
(Part 3) Project reflection
Building & Making:
(Part 1) Make a plan for building your prototype
(Part 2) Build your prototype
(Part 3) Participate in engineering roundtable
Checkpoints & Quizzes:
(Part 1) Have Mr. Benshoof approve your plan
(Part 2) Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your prototype completion
(Part 3) Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your completed reflection