Engineering Innovation and Design for STEM Teachers Program Image

Design Projects

Following the principles of the SQF, as a RET participant, you are introduced to the engineering design process through inquiry- and project-based learning.  Initially, the design teams tackle an introductory design-and-build challenge, such as a table of cardboard and glue sticks with specified dimensions and support.  With this project, teams are guided through the process of ideation and brainstorming, product research and conceptual design, decision analysis and embodiment design, final design, prototype building and testing, product redesign, and project reporting and presentation by faculty mentors, teammates and peers who also provide critical feedback.   After this project, teams are introduced to an industry mentor or community partner who provides details for a final project for completion during the remaining five weeks of our program. 

The following were our pilot-year projects:

  1. Design of LED lights to grow algae for bio-fuel applications (industry mentor – Algaeventure).
  2. Design of calibration tables for force measuring sensors (industry mentor- Bertec Corporation).
  3. Design of a vision RL power/status indicator system (industry mentor – Persistent Surveillance Systems, Inc.).
  4. Design sustainable energy solutions for the homeless (community partner – St. Vincent DePaul).
  5. Design sustainable water collection and conveyance system for a community garden (Community Partner –Five Rivers MetroParks Community Gardens Program).

During our pilot year, some teams arranged additional tours with their industry sponsor or community partner as part of their research process, and most teams maintained contact with their sponsor/partner during their five-week project in order to receive valuable feedback and additional ideas.

Our program provides you with access to University library resources along with tools and techniques needed for your successful design outcome.  In addition, faculty mentors work with you and your team regularly and guide you through prototype testing to ensure success.  And, a technical editor reviews and helps you and your team edit and revise team project reports. 

On the last day, all teams participate in a Design Symposium, so our campus community, community partners and industry sponsors can share in your innovative design and curriculum development successes.

Engineering Innovation and Design for STEM Teachers