Primary School (K-2)
A situation that people want to change or create can be approached as a problem to be solved through engineering. Such problems may have many acceptable solutions.
Asking questions, making observations, and gathering information are helpful in thinking about problems.
Before beginning to design a solution, it is important to clearly understand the problem.
Elementary School (3-5)
Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.
Middle School (6-8)
The more precisely a design task’s criteria and constraints can be defined, the more likely it is that the designed solution will be successful. Specification of constraints includes consideration of scientific principles and other relevant knowledge that is likely to limit possible solutions.
High School (9-12)
Criteria and constraints also include satisfying any requirements set by society, such as taking issues of risk mitigation into account, and they should be quantified to the extent possible and stated in such a way that one can tell if a given design meets them.
Humanity faces major global challenges today, such as the need for supplies of clean water and food or for energy sources that minimize
pollution, which can be addressed through engineering. These global challenges also may have manifestations in local communities.