Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on how engineers have to design objects to meet the needs of users, while considering the limitations of materials, and the implications of cost.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Translated Lessons:

Age Levels:

11 – 18


  • Learn how user needs, materials, costs, and manufacturing processes impact the design of everyday items.
  • Learn about the process of product re-engineering.
  • Learn about patents and ethics issues.
  • Learn how engineering teams address problem solving.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • product design and engineering
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students learn how material selection, costs, and user needs must be weighed when designing or redesigning a product. Students work in teams to evaluate current designs and to develop a new design for a handheld tape dispenser that can be easily operated by a person with limited strength who only has the use of one hand. Students execute their design, and evaluate the strategies employed by other student teams.


  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.