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:
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
Step 3 – Develop possible solutions:
Brainstorming different Design
Strategies and Identifying
Key Variables is an integral part of Informed
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
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