Engineering Design Process
Idaho TECH teams are responsible for observing the following Engineering Design Process during the creation of their Rover. This process must be reflected in the Mars Rover display and presentation created by each team, in the required Lab Notebook which each team must maintain, and in the overall design process of the Mars Rover.
Identify the problems
In the Lab Notebook, include general statements or questions such as “How might a Rover store rock samples that it collects?” More specific problems will likely arise as a Rover is being constructed. Be sure to document the problems that are encountered as the design and construction continue. This could be construction issues or even team problems.
Set the goals
Goals set by the Engineering Team should be as specific as possible, and should address the general problems they initially identified. One goal might be stated as follows: “Our Rover will be able to store a minimum of 5 rock samples.
Brainstorm design ideas
The key to brainstorming is to remember that there are no bad ideas! Each idea, no matter how off-the-wall it seems, should be recorded during the brainstorming session. The students should be creative -- the more ideas generated, the more likely it is that a successful design will result. Brainstorming sessions may be carried out individually or as a group.
Select and construct a design
After the brainstorming phase, the team should decide which ideas it likes best, and then construct a prototype that incorporates these ideas into the design.
Test and revise your model
After an initial prototype has been constructed, it must be thoroughly tested in order to ascertain both its strengths and its weaknesses. Most likely, students will discover that some ideas they thought were absolutely wonderful did not work at all. At this stage, they should consider more specific problems, such as “Why do the collected rocks fall out of the Rover every time it goes up a hill?” The team must then begin brainstorming ways to manage the problem and/or incorporate one or more of the alternate ideas brainstormed earlier. The process of testing and revising will undoubtedly have to be carried out many, many times! Be sure to document what works and what does notwork in the team’s lab notebook.
Present your final product!
After the Rover has been exhaustively tested and countless revisions have been carried out to create a working vehicle, it is time to display the team’s creation! Participation in the Engineering Design Competition (EDC), and especially the creation of a display and presentation for the Rover, will provide others with the opportunity to admire the results of the labor and the process the team went through to create it