Engineering Design Process Model

ECP 5 – Turtleman, SquidySpongeboySpoderman

Buoyancy: “A ‘Cents’ of Floating” –  Building Straw Boats

Our first “hands-on” challenge in grade 5 ECP was called, “A ‘Cents’ of Floating,” This challenge introduced us to the “Engineering Design Process”.  This is a process that engineers use to solve problems.  It includes the steps:


To highlight the importance of the Design Process, we were given 7 minutes to engineer straw boats that would hold the maximum amount of pennies while staying afloat.  We tested our prototypes and recorded and graphed the results.

Creating A Design PrototypeTesting our DesignSuccess
imageimageTesting Designs
We researched the concept of "buoyancy". Surface area, density and stability were key.We came up with two designs and decided which one was better.Working together was key to our success.

Before our second attempt, we were given the opportunity to use each step of the “Engineering Design Process”.  For example, in the “IMAGINE and PLAN” stage we took time collaborate, and use the Internet to research buoyancy properties.  Next we used what we learned to analyze the design flaws in our first creations. Finally we applied all we had learned to our second attempt at building a straw boat. Below are the results:

Last Float