Mission: Invent

STEM Division
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Engineers and inventors have been pivotal in shaping our world and continue to be a driving force for the future, pushing us to greater innovation. At their simplest, engineers and inventors are problem solvers. So whether or not a student decides to become an engineer or an inventor, they can apply these engineering principles to solve problems for the rest of their life. Check out these videos or click the link to learn about engineering and the engineering design process.


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What's an Engineer?

At their simplest, engineers (and inventors) are problem solvers. They use the tools of science, math, and technology to design new and innovative solutions to real-world problems. Check out this short video to learn more about engineers!

The Engineering Design Process

The engineering design process is the series of steps engineers use to design solutions to real-world problems. The steps listed in this video are a little different than what we use but the overall process is the same. 

Another Look at the Engineering Design Process

This video provides another explanation of the engineering design process. The steps here are also different than what we use but it makes some additional points that may be helpful.

Example: Egg Drop

This video does an excellent job of explaining the engineering design process using the example of an "Eggstronaut" who needs to land on a planet. The process shown in this video is one of the most complete explanations we've found and it closely matches the process used for this project.

Example: Making Tacos

The engineering design process can be used or adapted to solve all kinds of problems. Check out this simple example where it is used to solve a mealtime dilemma.

More Engineering!

If you work with younger students and want additional kid-friendly engineering videos, check out these from SciShow Kids.

Solve Problems: Be an Engineer!

There are many types of engineers, from civil engineers to aerospace engineers, but while they each create very different products, they all have the same basic job: "inventing and building things that solve problems for people." Check out this short kid-friendly video about engineers!

Think Like an Engineer (part 1)

This video provides a short kid-friendly example of the engineering design process. In part 1, they describe the steps and then start a simple example (creating a back scratcher). The steps in this video are a little different than those we use, but the video does a great job of illustrating the engineering design process to young kids.

Think Like an Engineer (part 2)

Part 2 continues the engineering example from the previous video. This time they build, test, and improve their back scratcher until they arrive at a solution that solves the original problem.