EDD Unit 5: Water Purification

Use the engineering design process to solve a water purification problem

WATER PURIFICATION OVERVIEW

Many engineers are asked to solve specific problems with narrow parameters but open-ended solutions.  When tackling an engineering problem, it’s important to be able to work within the given criteria and constraints.  In this unit, you and your team will be asked to create a water purification system that must fit within certain constraints and also meet certain criteria.  In this unit, you’ll work with your team to:

  • Define the problem, research, brainstorm, and select various solutions to a water purification problem
  • Create a decision matrix based on the given problem
  • Identify and demonstrate your best solution

In addition to our engineering work, we’ll also do some work related to college and the future.  While you’re budgeting time for your game creation, you also need to do two college tasks.

  • College Task 1: Write College Essay #3 –
  • College Task 2: Write College Essay #4 –  

When you’re done you will have conducted some materials research, investigated various machines, and written a few college scholarship essays!

THE PROBLEM

(40 pts) About 4 days

In this unit you and your team will be given a problem statement about water purification. You’ll work together with the provided materials to produce multiple solutions to the problem within the given constraints. You will then evaluate and test your solutions using a decision matrix.

DECISION MATRIX

(20 pts) About 3 days

Engineers usually develop multiple solutions to a given problem.  The evaluate and test step of the process requires using a decision matrix to quantify success and help select the optimal solution.  Here, your team will develop and use a decision matrix to evaluate your water purification solution.

COLLEGE TASKS

(10 pts) About 3 days

While all that’s going on, you need to budget time to complete two tasks. Here you’ll write two essays that will be used in scholarship applications later.  By writing them now we have time to edit, and will have things ready to go when the deadline arrives.

The Problem

Develop solutions to the water purification problem using the design brief

Water Purification

In this unit, you’ll get to learn more about various materials.  We’ll start by watching a few videos about some weird new materials that engineers have developed.  You’ll also work with your E-Group to brainstorm possible uses of those new materials.

Now, you’ll work with your E-Group to conduct some materials research.  We have the options of testing metals, woods, extruded plastics, 3D filaments, composites, adhesives, or foams.  You’ll make a plan for which materials you want to test and how you want to test them.  Then, you’ll put your plan into action as you test the materials and collect data on their properties.

GRADING & PROCESS

Use the problem statement to develop a design brief, research and brainstorm possible solutions

Build many prototypes, recording appropriate data for each

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed research

What’s Due In The Problem

  • Design Brief & Planning
  • Prototypes
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in The Problem

  1. Create a design brief and start the engineering process
  2. Build prototypes and collect data
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your research

Decision Matrix

Quantify the success of your prototypes to identify the best one

Decision Matrices

Once your prototypes have been brainstormed and planned, it’s time to collect some data and compare the prototypes using a decision matrix.  For this part of the unit, you’ll learn about decision matrices and how they get used to compare multiple solutions.  In this case, you’ll then work to create a decision matrix based on both the criteria and constraints of the design problem.

With a decision matrix ready to go, it’s time to collect some data.  For each design, you’ll build your prototype and collect data from it when you try it out.  When you’re done, you’ll be able to evaluate the success of your various prototypes and identify your best design.

GRADING & PROCESS

 Take notes on decision matrices, their creation, and their use in the engineering process

 Work with your team to create a decision matrix

 Record the decision matrix in your engineering notebook and use it to evaluate the success of your various prototypes

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed decision matrix and conclusion

What’s Due In Decision Matrix

  • Decision Matrix Notes
  • Create Your Decision Matrix
  • Data Collection
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in Decision Matrix

  1. Take notes on decision matrices from the video
  2.  Work with your team to create a decision matrix based on the problem statement
  3. Collect your data and record the results in your decision matrix
  4. Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your data and decision matrix

College Tasks

Prepare for college admissions & scholarships

College Essays

In addition to your work exploring a new machine, you also need to write two essays.  These essays connect very specifically to some of the scholarships that we’ll apply to as a class in January and February.  By getting them written now we will have time to edit them, and you can consider using them in other applications for schools or scholarships.

Scholarship Essay 3:

Scholarship Essay 4:

GRADING & PROCESS

Write Scholarship Essay 3:

 Write Scholarship Essay 4:

 Have Mr. Benshoof edit your essays!

What’s Due In College Tasks

  • Essay 3
  • Essay 4
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in College Tasks

  1. Write Scholarship Essay 3:
  2. Write Scholarship Essay 4:
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof edit your essays!

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to give you a chance to tackle an engineering problem based on a real-world scenario.  You and your team of engineers are being asked to develop a solution to a water purification problem that fits both time and cost constraints, and that meets turbidity and pH criteria.  What you’ll do is brainstorm multiple solutions and build many of them.  In the end, you’ll collect data from each process and use your decision matrix to evaluate your results.  In the end, you’ll be able to identify your best solution and describe how a decision matrix can help inform the engineering process.

We also now have the next two scholarship essays complete.  Incorporate feedback from Mr. Benshoof’s edits, and consider having an English teacher or another friend edit it further!  Saving all of your scholarship essays to your jump drive will keep them in a safe place for later when we need to use them.

Engineering Notebook:

(The Problem) You should have taken notes on the different materials videos

(The Problem) You should have made a plan for materials research and taken notes on your results

(Decision Matrix) You should have taken notes on simple and complex machines

(Decision Matrix) You should have drawn a careful diagram of a machine in the lab and labeled its simple machine components

Building & Making:

(The Problem) You should have built prototypes and collected data

(Decision Matrix) You should have created a decision matrix and used it to compare your solutions

(College Tasks) You should have written Scholarship Essay 3 on problems in Fairbanks

 (College Tasks) You should have written Scholarship Essay 4 on the benefits of lawsuits

Checkpoints & Quizzes:

(The Problem) Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed research

(Decision Matrix) Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your decision matrix and conclusion

(College Tasks) Have Mr. Benshoof edit your essays