Engineering students redesign, pitch product during unit

May 2, 2017

Langham Creek High School senior Andrew Senteno illustrates the reverse-engineered design of a hand-cranked flashlight to panelist Jenny Tyler during a presentation to industry professionals on March 31.
Langham Creek High School senior Andrew Senteno illustrates the reverse-engineered design of a hand-cranked flashlight to panelist Jenny Tyler during a presentation to industry professionals on March 31. 

May 2, 2017—Aspiring engineers in high school engineering design and problem-solving classes gained the experience of pitching products to a panel this spring through the University of Texas’ UTeach Engineering curriculum program, Engineer Your World.

Engineer Your World is made possible through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The innovative, yearlong high school course is for students who want to learn about engineering and its role in shaping the world. The 2016-2017 school year marks the fourth year for the course to be offered.

Langham Creek student Nicholas Marshall explains the interior design of his group’s hand-cranked fish-shaped flashlight to panelists using a Promethean ActivPanel on March 31.
Langham Creek student Nicholas Marshall explains the interior design of his group’s hand-cranked fish-shaped flashlight to panelists using a Promethean ActivPanel on March 31. 

Through this curriculum, Langham Creek High School students in Marissa Logrono’s three class periods reverse-engineered a hand-cranked flashlight with the intention of redesigning the product for a specific customer group. The students provided a visual rendering of what the design will look like, explained how it will function and discussed how it suits their customer group. They then pitched their redesign idea to a panel consisting of district personnel, parent volunteers and a Lone Star College—CyFair representative on March 31.

The panel challenged ideas, asked questions and decided on the best idea from each class period.

Panelists including Dr. Claire Phillips, instructional dean for science, math and engineering at Lone Star College—CyFair, react to a funny moment during a reverse engineering presentation in Langham Creek teacher Marissa Logrono’s classroom on March 31.
Panelists including Dr. Claire Phillips, instructional dean for science, math and engineering at Lone Star College—CyFair, react to a funny moment during a reverse engineering presentation in Langham Creek teacher Marissa Logrono’s classroom on March 31. 

“During the reverse engineering project, students really connected with the idea that product redesign has to be geared toward a customer,” Logrono said. “In this assignment, students were graded on the engineering process, but also on how well they thought about their customer group in their redesign. The kids were really nervous to try and ‘pitch’ their idea to the panel and were stressed about doing that well, since marketing is not the focus of the class. However, they did a great job explaining how their product worked and why it was a good fit for their customer groups.

“The panel thought the kids did a great job thinking through the process of reverse engineering, but also a great job connecting with their customer groups. The panel asked a lot of hard questions and the students handled that in stride, really showing that they had considered all the aspects of making their design a marketable piece.”

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Langham Creek students, from left, Juvencio Lezama, Jeffery Herrera, Diego Marin and Saxon Butcher explain their reverse-engineered hand-cranked flashlight design to panelists including Lobo parent Jenny Tyler, far left, on March 31. 

Langham Creek students, from left, Nicholas Marshall, Nico Ramos and Grant Finke describe their design’s benefits for parents to a panel in teacher Marissa Logrono’s classroom on March 31.
Langham Creek students, from left, Nicholas Marshall, Nico Ramos and Grant Finke describe their design’s benefits for parents to a panel in teacher Marissa Logrono’s classroom on March 31. 

 

Learn more about the Engineer Your World program online at engineeryourworld.org.

 

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