Getting Better All The Time: Engineering Redesign

The Importance of Redesign

On Monday, students took on an engineering challenge. But rather than starting at the beginning of the engineering process, students started with the redesign step, to fix a flawed design for a bookcase.  Students worked in teams to identify the weaknesses of the design, come up with solutions, and build new prototypes.  Then they had a chance to test their new bookcase designs to make sure they satisfied the criteria and constraints of the situation, and to see how their designs stacked up against those 

made by other groups.

Aside from redesigning bookcases, we learned about how important it is for engineers to redesign things that have already been built. For example, engineers that have come up with their own prototypes (original designs) still have to test it and will probably have to redesign it many times before they are satisfied with their creation.

It was really interesting to see what other teams built; we had the same task, but we had different ways of solving the problem. That was one of the best parts!

Some snapshots of the day:

20150323_083327 20150323_083339 20150323_083455 20150323_091853 20150323_101842 20150323_102314 20150323_102437 20150323_131918 20150323_131952 20150323_132048 20150323_132134 20150323_132412 20150323_140943 20150323_141012 20150323_141200made by other groups.

Aside from redesigning bookcases, we learned about how important it is for engineers to redesign things that have already been built. For example, engineers that have come up with their own prototypes (original designs) still have to test it and will probably have to redesign it many times before they are satisfied with their creation.

It was really interesting to see what other teams built; we had the same task, but we had different ways of solving the problem. That was one of the best parts!

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Author

Dr. Catherine Sukow

Dr. Sukow's interest in science education began when she was a teenager, with an extended visit to San Francisco's Exploratorium. In college, she had summer jobs in a similar, smaller, museum. She focused her Master's research at NCSU on the structure of metal silicides on silicon, and her Ph. D. work at Brandeis on the structure of crossbridged actin bundles. While volunteering in her childrens' schools, she was reminded how much fun it is to teach science, and is happy to be teaching now with Science from Scientists. In her spare time, she also enjoys yoga, choral and solo singing, and attempting a variety of international cuisines.

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