Read the Book and Identify Problems
Define Problems and Brainstorm Solutions
Have a discussion with your class about the list of problems they just generated. Make sure students have a clear understanding of the needs of the characters and the constraints that are present in the book’s plot. Introduce the idea of a client/engineer relationship – the client needs help, and the engineer is now working for the client. The student becomes the engineer, and the character becomes the client. Students should work in teams to choose a problem to solve through the engineering design process and brainstorm possible solutions.
In teams, students plan and build a functional solution that addresses the needs and criteria of the character/client as well as the constraints imposed by the story’s plot and setting.
As students create their functional designs, they should also be testing to make sure that their solutions meet the needs of the characters/clients. Have each group present their solutions-in-progress to the class to get feedback and suggestions from peers.