The Kool Kat Writers Use the Engineering Design Process

The engineering design process (EDP) is a series of steps that engineering teams use to solve problems. The design process is iterative, meaning that each step is repeated as many times as needed to arrive at a great solution.  In addition, Using the EDP makes failure less intimidating because there is a built-in improvement loop to deal with issues that arise in the course of the project.

There are several different models used by different organizations, but the foundation of all EDPs is the same.

  1.  The EDP is structured – starting with a specific problem and moving through research (ASK), analysis (IMAGINE & PLAN), design (CREATE), and improvement (TEST & IMPROVE) to a practical solution.
  2. The EDP works like a funnel – gathering multiple solutions and eliminating/synthesizing options until there is a single workable solution. 
  3. The EDP is iterative – testing & sharing leads back through an improvement loop (IMAGINE, PLAN, CREATE, TEST) to refine a workable solution that can be shared.

Kids intuitively want to jump straight into CREATE, but they do better on their design projects when they have structure. The engineering design process provides a framework for this structure.  Kool Kat Science has developed a template that we use to plan our design challenges. It is most helpful as we consider the problems students may encounter when testing and improving.  

It occurred to us that it may be helpful for the students to use as they plan as well. So, we built an editable version with starter questions to provide a standardized structure. The template is available in our TeachersPayTeachers store as a FREEBIE.  Check it out!


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