EDD Unit 2: Arctic Innovation Competition

Use the Engineering Design Process to compete in UAF’s AIC


Our second unit looks very closely at the Engineering Design Process, with particular focus on the research and brainstorming step.  The UAF Arctic Innovation Competition asks students to develop an idea for a solution to a problem.  You and your team will go through the engineering process to solve a problem and submit your solution to the competition.  As you do this, your team will be expected to:

  • Select a problem and create a complete design brief
  • Research & Brainstorm as many possible solutions (at least 30)
  • Develop your solution and describe the solution with sketches and writing
  • Submit your idea and create a presentation

In addition to our engineering work, we’ll also do some small work to think about applying to colleges and scholarships.  While you’re budgeting time for your game creation, you also need to do two college tasks.

  • College Task 1: Research 3 colleges
  • College Task 2: Request 4 letters of recommendation

When you’re done, you’ll have a complete competition submission for the AIC and will have taken some time to think through some college options!


(30 pts) About 2 days

To get started, your team will identify a problem to address. Once you’ve found your problem, you need to develop a complete design brief.  Then, your team will take some time to research and brainstorm as many ideas for solutions as you can.


(30 pts) About 3 days

For this project, we probably won’t build any physical model unless it’s an easy thing to put together. Instead, the majority of your solution development and communication will happen with sketches and some mini-essays.  Here you’ll develop your solution with your team as a submission for the AIC.


(10 pts) About 4 days

While all that’s going on, you need to budget time to complete two tasks. First, you’ll need to research UAF and two other colleges you’re interested in.  Second, you’ll need to talk to 4 adults in your life and ask them to write you a letter of recommendation.

Arctic Innovation Competition

Define your problem and develop your solution

The Engineering Design Process

In the last unit we focused part of our work specifically on developing a design brief.  As your team starts to tackle a problem for the AIC, the first step will be to create a design brief.  Follow the same process and organization that was used in the game design project to create a design brief that includes criteria and constraints.

Next, your team will need to watch the video on Research & Brainstorm, and then sit down together and brainstorm at least 30 possible solutions to your problem.  Some of your ideas may already exist, others may be absurd, but the idea is to write down as many as you possibly can.

Most of our time will go into developing our solution. Your team needs to work together to agree on a solution, sketch out what it will look like, describe your solution in some small essays, and develop a presentation.  In the end you’ll have a complete submission for UAF’s AIC.


 Engineering Design Brief

Research & Brainstorm at least 30 ideas

 Mr. Benshoof’s approval of the design brief & brainstorm

 Develop your solution with sketches, descriptions

 Complete the 5 mini-essays with your team

 Submit your design to the UAF AIC (http://arcticinno.com).

 Create a presentation for our class and some model of your solution

AIC Overview

Choosing a Problem

Research & Brainstorm

What’s Due In Arctic Innovation Competition

  • Design Brief
  • Research & Brainstorm
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Approval
  • Design Brief
  • Research & Brainstorm
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Approval

Here’s what’s due in AIC Planning

  1. Engineering Design Brief in engineering notebooks
  2. Research & Brainstorm at least 30 ideas
  3. Mr. Benshoof’s approval of the design brief & brainstorm
  4.  Develop your solution & essays
  5. Submit your design to the UAF AIC (http://arcticinno.com).
  6.  Create and give a presentation on your solution

College Tasks

Prepare for college admissions & scholarships

College Research

 College Research Sheet

As we continue thinking about next year and beyond, we’ll do some research on different colleges. You may already know what university you want to go to, but we’ll take some time to investigate the programs, opportunities, and associated costs of attending UAF as well as 2 other schools.  It’s worth thinking about the opportunities that different schools will provide, and also looking at how much you can expect to pay for those different experiences.  No school is perfect, but you’ll need to make a tough decision later next semester as you choose your post-Lathrop plans!

Lastly, you need to request 4 letters of recommendation for use in future applications.  You should ask for 2 from teachers you’ve had and worked well with.  The other 2 letters should come from community members that you’ve interacted with – church or youth group leaders, employers, or coaches.  These letters will help give you choices when putting together various applications.


 Complete the college research sheet for UAF and two other schools you’re interested in

 Request 4 letters of recommendation

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your college research sheets

What’s Due In College Tasks

  • College Research
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in College Tasks

  1. Complete 3 College Research Sheets
  2. Request 4 letters of recommendation
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your college research sheets

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to give us another chance to work through the Engineering Design Process with a focus on the Research & Brainstorm step.  You and your team should have worked together to define the problem, brainstorm solutions, and developed your submission for the Arctic Innovation Competition.  You also presented your work to the class, and if you do well you might win money through a presentation at UAF.  You should also have thought about different college programs and what it might cost to attend those universities.

Engineering Notebook:

(AIC) You should have created a complete design brief for your team’s chosen problem

(AIC) You should have documented your research and your 30 brainstormed ideas

(AIC) You should have sketched and described your solution while working with your team

Building & Making:

 (AIC) Write your assigned mini-essays and have them edited

 (AIC) Submit your team’s work to the AIC (http://www.arcticinno.com)

 (College Tasks) Mr. Benshoof should check-off your college research work

Benshoof Checkpoints

(AIC) You should have Mr. Benshoof approve your design brief & brainstorm

 (AIC) Submit your team’s work to the AIC (http://www.arcticinno.com)

(College Tasks) Mr. Benshoof should check-off your college research work