Intro to Engineering

The Engineering and Design Process: What Do Engineers Do?

Today, we learned about the 8 steps in the Engineering and Design process. We started with identifying a problem that needed a solution and we got to test out models that could address the problem.

Turkey is the only country to span two continents and in its largest city, Istanbul, there is a channel of water that separates the European side and the Asian side and there are millions of people that commute to and from work. Our problem was: how would we get one million people across the Bosphorus strait in several times a day? We also had to consider constraints like the weight of trains, bikes and people, the weather, and marine life. It was very challenging, but we used the steps of the Engineering and Design process to guide us and it helped us to work as a team.

Some of us built tunnels and others built bridges using materials like straws, play doh, aluminum foil, string, and even toilet paper rolls! We got to be really creative with our designs, which was really fun.



Leighann Sullivan earned her BS in Biology from Cornell University. For a number of years she taught math, science, and language skills at a secondary school for learning disabled students. She subsequently earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University. Her dissertation was entitled, “Molecular and Genomic Analyses in Clostridium acetobutylicum.” When not pursuing academic interests she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and experimenting in the culinary arts.

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