I have lived in Colorado Springs for many years and always enjoy watching the news show US Air Force cadets demonstrate a product they have designed to help a child or adult in the community meet a personal challenge, each time admiring the simplicity of their innovation and ingenuity.
Here is an example of a group of students who collaborated in separate groups and used their collective engineering knowledge to design a safe haven for an Autistic 9-year-old, adapting his environment to meet his needs.
Do you have any examples of how your students have developed a product or process to help another person?
This may not be exactly the type of product you have in mind, but it certainly could benefit people's palates as they crunch into a tasty potato chip.
eGIF News for Teachers reported a contest sponsored by Wondergy that involved a nationwide K-12 engineering challenge requiring students to design a package to protect a potato chip being sent through the mail. In order to win this challenge, students had to make certain that the crunchy snack food arrived at its destination intact and undamaged. See Contest: Potato Chip Challenge.
Do you know of other contests that encourage students to use their STEM skills and critical thinking to develop a product?
Have your created any lessons that require students to design something new and useful?