Thinking Like an Engineer - Kalamazoo Public Schools

Thinking Like an Engineer
Innovations and Inventions
Vocabulary Review
From your notebook and our last lesson,
can you define:
Invention, Inventor, Engineer and
Inventor: A person who invented a particular process or
device or who invents things as an occupation.
Invent: Create or design something that has not existed.
Engineer- A person who uses science and math to help us
understand the world and to apply what they know to
improve things and solve problems.
Engineering- The application of science and math by which
the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature
are made useful to people.
Brainstorm Review!
What are some of the same
things an inventor and engineer
Inventors and Engineers do very much
of the same things!
Identify the problem
Research the problem
Develop solutions
Select best solutions
Construct a prototype
Test and evaluate the solution
Redesign to improve original design
Remember, YES, IT IS TRUE!
Each one of you has an
Engineer and Inventor in
Make sure your paper has your first and last
name, Teacher or School Name and Grade
Level on it. Hand in parent quizzes and your
new Mousetrap if you have completed this
activity before the end of class!
Were there any surprises on the Parent Trivia?
Did you finish your Top 10 with your group?
• Open Eyes: Look at the person speaking and
focus on what they are saying.
• Open Ears: Actively listen to the speaker and if
you do not understand, ask questions.
• Open Heart: Be empathetic. It is not always easy
to hear others ideas if they are unlike your own.
Your Group Choice
• Think of something that you could use for
something that is not what it was made for.
• Example: A spatula.
• Create a list of things it could be used for in
your group and record on a sheet of paper.
• If you like, you can use something that I have
brought in or that is in this room.
• Be ready to share in 10 minutes. Use
SCAMPER is an ACRONYM . “An acronym is a word formed from
the initial letters of a name or combining initial letters of parts or
series of words.”
A/T is an acronym for Academically Talented
AG is an acronym for Avant Garde
MEAP is an acronym for Michigan Education Assessment Program
What do you think SCAMPER may stand for in this unit?
Check your handout and find out!
An average egg carton holds a dozen (12) eggs. It is a great invention that keeps the
eggs separated and supported to avoid cracking during transport. At the same time,
engineers decided that Styrofoam would be more economical and changed the carton.
Now, due to ecology, trash dumping sites and recycling, they have now decided that
sturdy tag board, cardboard and possibly another material will some day replace
Styrofoam egg cartons.
Imagine, An egg carton could also be a………
• planter for growing seedlings
• an organizer to arrange watercolor paints
• a cash drawer to organize your spare change
• a sorter for screws and bolts
•a living unit for a futuristic model space colony
• a funky ice cube tray
•a sand castle mold
•a base for a dried flower arrangement
Glossaries and Flashcards
The A/T Department can provide you with index cards if you would like to make
flash cards.
You have the choice to create your own flashcards using index cards or you may
choose the flashcard maker website (
This is a great way to begin studying early…..and not to wait until the last minute.
Take the task and plan to spend time each week on flashcards and learning your
vocabulary to avoid frustration or feeling like you are behind.
TASK: Begin to create your flashcards so you are not procrastinating when you are
also creating your bridge/engineering project and writing your speech.
Interactive Links and Websites
The A/T staff is providing you with a
comprehensive list of interactive websites to
allow you to narrow your choice of an
invention or engineering project.
Here is just one example:
Play games such as Design a Parachute, Solar Car
Racing, Bridge Designer and Goldburger to
• Inventiveness and improving an invention
requires creative thought and developing
creativity to its fullest. Think about one who is
exercising to get in shape or running to train for a
race or the 5K for Girls on the Run. Thinking
exercises can turn a creative person into a HIGHLY
creative person OR they can shift a person’s
creative focus from one field to another!
Now, drum roll, please.
Your homework is:
Complete at least 10 more flashcards; complete reading on the history of bridges,
and explore the various interactive websites to meet engineers and look at
how much is out there! You are great! Take time to explore the interactive