EDD Unit 6: Semester Project

Use the engineering design process to complete a small project


With this unit you’ll be given the freedom to address any real-world problem you’d like.  You should pick a problem that you’re interested in, then you’ll follow the engineering design process to create and evaluate a prototype.  As you do this, you will be expected to:

  • Select and fully define a real-world problem
  • Research, brainstorm, and select a solution you want to build
  • Plan and construct a prototype
  • Evaluate your success and share your work with the class

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 one important college tasks.

  1. Complete the “College Deadlines Planning Worksheet“ by looking up the deadlines listed

When you’re done you’ll have completed a short engineering project using the engineering design process, built something cool, and looked into the coming college deadlines!


(10 pts) About 2 days

To start, you’ll identify a real-world problem.  This problem could be large or small in scale; it might impact all of Alaska, the city of Fairbanks, students at Lathrop, or just you and your family.  You’ll start by identifying your problem and then creating a complete design brief.


(50 pts) About 6 days

Once your problem and design brief are approved, continue with the Engineering Design Process to create a solution to your chosen problem.  Remember to document everything you do!  In the end we’ll be able to submit our project and idea to the MIT Think competition.


(10 pts) About 2 days

While all that’s going on, you need to budget time to complete one additional college task. Here, you’ll download and fill out the “College Deadlines Planning Worksheet“.  This will help you understand what deadlines are approaching for college and scholarship applications and help you plan your spring semester!

Semester Project

Choose and define a problem you want to tackle

The Engineering Design Process

By now we know the Engineering Design Process well.  Get started with your project by choosing a problem you want to work on.  It can be a large problem that all of Alaska or our nation faces; you could choose a smaller problem that only affects Fairbanks or Lathrop; you could even choose a small problem that only you and your family deal with.

Once you’ve identified a problem that you think a physical product could address, it’s time to define your problem.  Write up a complete design brief that clarifies the problem, the criteria, and the constraints.  Have Mr. Benshoof approve your idea.

Then, continue your engineering process and develop a solution and prototype!  You can use whatever machines you need to in order to get something together.  Be sure to plan your time carefully because you’ll need your finished prototype by the last Friday before finals!  In the end, you’ll get feedback from our class and upload your design to the MIT Think program.


Learn about your new machine & take detailed notes

Plan what you want to build

Have Mr. Benshoof approve your idea

 Build your prototype!

 Give and receive feedback on your prototype

 Complete MIT Think Application

 Have Mr. Benshoof’s check-off your completed prototype

What’s Due In Semester Project

  • New Machine Notes
  • Design Process Notes
  • Mr. Benshoof’s approval
  • Prototype
  • Feedback
  • MIT Think
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in Semester Project

  1. Notes on your new machine
  2. Process notes as you design and plan
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof approve your idea
  4.  Build your prototype!
  5.  Feedback on your prototype
  6.  Complete MIT Think Application
  7. Mr. Benshoof’s check-off of your final prototype

College Tasks

Prepare for college admissions & scholarships

College Tasks

In addition to your work on your semester project, you also need to complete the College Deadlines worksheet. The purpose of this worksheet is to get you thinking about what’s going to be happening later this month and during January/February/March as you get ready for graduation and college.


Complete the “College Deadlines Planning Worksheet“

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your planning worksheet!

What’s Due In College Tasks

  • College Deadlines
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in College Tasks

  1. “College Deadlines Planning Worksheet“
  2.  Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your planning worksheet!

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to give you the chance to apply the engineering design process as part of an initial run at what you think your final Capstone project might be.  You don’t have to do your entire second semester project, but this should give you time to demonstrate that you know what you’re doing and to start testing some new ideas.  Maybe you want to design a small part of your Capstone project, or use this as a ‘rough draft’.  Have fun with it, and make this a good starting point for next semester’s work.

We will also have completed the College Deadlines Planning Worksheet.  It’s always good to keep these deadlines in mind because they creep up faster than you’d expect once we get back from the winter holiday.  Take some time and talk to your family about college and start making some plans for the future!

Engineering Notebook

(Project) You should have created a complete design brief before getting approval to continue

(Project) You should have brainstormed, developed, and sketched your ideas in your engineering notebook

(Project) You should have documented your work, including your planning for the MIT Think application

Building & Making

(Project) Build your prototype!

 (Project) You’ll give a super brief presentation as part of your final exam

Benshoof Checkpoints

(Exploration) Have Mr. Benshoof approve your idea

(Exploration) Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed prototype

(College Tasks) Have Mr. Benshoof edit your essays