Kid’s Understanding of Engineering Requirements

I had an interesting experience today in our fourth grade open ended engineering challenge.  The students have to build and market a burglar alarm using the Lego WeDo Robotics Kit and Resource Kit (extra parts).  One team had the tilt sensor attached to a burglar on the burglar’s airplane.  So what is wrong with this?  You might think that it is just too unusual. But, the way I think about it and the way I explained it to the student, was that it did not meet the requirements of the burglar alarm.  By the way, this is a very common problem in engineering in my experience!

So I explained it like this.  The burglar alarm has to be very general; it must stop any burglar from entering the house.  Also, how could you get the sensor on the burglar’s plane in advance?   The student was actually arguing that you could but I think he just did not want to give up on his cool plane and cool idea.

This entry was posted in Child Development, Robotics, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *