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Massachusetts State Standards

Massachusetts has the most comprehensive inclusion of design and technology of all the states covered by DITC. Design and technology is closely related to many different areas of study and is therefore incorporated into many other subjects, especially math and science.

The Engineering Design Process (Figure 1) serves a guide to successfully complete a design project. DITC contains an abundance of information relevant to each step that can aid you in putting them into practice.

Step 1 - Identify the Need or Problem: Design Briefs are a great way to introduce the task, and explain the criteria and constraints without revealing exactly how the product is to be made.
Step 2 – Research the need or problem: One method of researching the need or problem is to do a Product History of what they are designing. This gets the students personally invested in the product and reveals the evolution of changes that have been made to the product.
Step 3 – Develop possible solutions: Brainstorming different Design Strategies and Identifying Key Variables is an integral part of Informed Designing.
Step 4 – Select the Best Possible Solution: As the class is allowed to mess about and identify different Design Rules-of-Thumb, the students will be equipped to make reasonable choices in selecting possible solutions.
Step 5 – Construct a Prototype: Prototyping is key to avoid pitfalls associated with Naive Design Strategies, and Phil Sadler explains its importance in What Makes a Good Design Challenge?
Step 6 – Evaluate and Test the Solution(s): Iterative trials of Fair-Test Experiments is helpful in developing and testing possible solutions – check out the Activity Chooser Chart to compare the speed of iteration between different activities.
Step 7 – Communicate the Solution(s): Gallery Walks and working in groups give students many opportunities to share their solutions and learn from each other.
Step 8 – Redesign: Learning from their own and other students’ mistakes/successes, the circular nature of this design model brings the students back to redesign and perform the steps again, equipped with a better understanding of the task. DITC includes many other Design Models that you may find helpful.

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