Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on the engineering behind storage devices, and engineering improvements over time. Though exploring the operation of the “floppy” disk, students explore the mechanics underlying operation, and then test the disk under a variety of conditions.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Translated Lessons:

Age Levels:

8 – 18


  • Learn about computer engineering.
  • Learn about product testing.
  • Learn about computing history.
  • Learn about meeting the needs of society.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

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

  • computer engineering and planning
  • computing history
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students learn how floppy disks work and explore how they hold up in a variety of situations. Student teams are then challenged with evaluating and deciding whether to include or exclude a floppy disk drive in a new computer designed to be used by schools all over the world. They also develop their own punch card system and make their own punch cards. Student teams present their recommendations to other teams.


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

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.