CEE Children's Engineering Educators, LLC
Free Design Briefs and Ready to Use Activities
Highlighting the T & E to STEM in Education

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Free Resources from CEE

All design briefs and supporting materials on this page are original work of Children's Engineering Educators, LLC. CEE grants permission for individual teachers to download the PDF files on this page for use in their individual classrooms. Reproduction for an entire school or school system is strictly prohibited without written permission by CEE.

       
   
   Elementary Design Loop

This design loop was developed in 1998 by members of CEE to use in their own classrooms in Richmond City Schools, Richmond, Virginia. It was shared with teachers across the state through Project UPDATE classes.

This design loop was used as the basis for all of the activities and guided portfolios in Virginia's state guide Children's Engineering: A Teacher Resource Guide for Design and Technology in Grades K-5. The same design loop appears in Peter Sellwood's Schools Planet Publications Let's Make It Work.

   

Available from PITSCO:

Elementary Design Loop Poster

A great compliment to the Children’s Engineering book, this laminated poster brings the five-step Technology Design Loop used in the book into full view for your students. Full color. Size: 11" x 17".

shop.pitsco.com/engdesign

   
                   
   


   Seasonal Activities

Back to School
Card engineering invitation

Design Brief
Guided Portfolio
Rubric

This card engineering activity would be an excellent way to invite parents and friends to "Back to School Night."  Differentiate the criteria to meet the needs of your students.

Harvest Festival
Card engineering activity

Design Brief
Guided Portfolio
Rubric

Encourage your students to create a one of a kind card to invite family and special guests to the fall festival at your school.

Valentine's Day
Card engineering activity: Greetings for Seniors
Design Brief
Guided Portfolio
A great opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge of pop-ups and levers. Differentiate the criteria for your classroom needs.

Spring Fling
Card engineering activity
Design Brief
Guided Portfolio
Rubric
A great opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge of pop-ups and levers. Differentiate the criteria for your classroom needs.

Mother's Day
Card engineering activity
Design Brief
Guided Portfolio
Rubric
Virginia Standards of Learning Connections K-5


         

A Note from CEE About K-5 Design Briefs

Visitors to our site should be aware that there is more than one way to write K-5 design briefs. Much of what we have learned is through actually working with children in classrooms.

Many of the design briefs posted on this page use the following format:

  • Background statement
  • Challenge statement
  • Criteria
  • What can you use?

As years went by we made adjustments to the formats we use when writing design briefs. Working with elementary students, we realized that we wanted to find a way to better define the difference between what materials could be used and what tools would be available to manipulate those materials.

Why did we think a change was important? One reason was because many K-5 students made the argument that if something is listed under What can you use? it could become part of the finished product. Another reason was because, as a team, CEE came to believe that even the youngest children could differentiate between materials and tools. We also wanted to give the importance to the term “materials” that it deserves;  “Materials are the basic ingredients of technology.  (Todd, Todd, McCroy1996)

We now prefer the following format for writing design briefs. It is the format used on the Everyday Design Briefs posted on our site.

  • Background statement
  • Challenge statement
  • Criteria
  • Materials
  • Tools

Keep smiling and keep visiting!
-ginger

 

   

STEM Education

Science

Technology

Engineering

Math

     
         
     
    Activities Targeting Math Skills

K - Shapes All Around Us
Design Brief
Teacher Planning

Includes tips for planning and implementing the activity, Virginia Standards of Learning, and Standards for Technological Literacy.
Guided Portfolio
Rubric

4-5 - Don't Lose Your Marbles
Engineering Challenge
Involves linear measurement and right angles as well as science investigation skills.

         
     
    Activities Targeting Science Skills

Earth Friendly Birdhouse
Design Brief
Guided Portfolio
Virginia Standards of Learning

K-2 Planting a Rainbow (Life Processes: Plants)
Design Brief    Includes Teacher Notes
Guided Portfolio


         
     

  
   Featured in Technology & Children:

Toy Makers
Design Brief
Guided Portfolio
This design challenge accompanies the Technology & Children ACTIVITY: Toy Makers, found in the May 2007, Vol.11 No.4 issue.
Contact gwhiting@childrensengineering.com to request a copy of the article which contains a complete lesson plan.

Previously posted design briefs from this section have been removed; they are being updated.

 

                         

STEM Education

Science

Technology

Engineering

Math

       


    Peter Sellwood's CHECKCARD Nets

Peter Sellwood has provided samples of some of his geometric solid nets. Students can use these task cards as guides to create their own three dimensional objects. Objects can be increased in size by increasing the sides by equal units of 1 cm. Sellwood's Nets

 

                   

Children's Engineering
Children's Engineering Design Briefs
Children's Engineering the T&E in STEM Education
Children's Engineering - Teacher Resources
Children's Engineering Handbook
Elementary Design Briefs
Children's Engineering Handbook

 
                             
             


Everyday Design Briefs
Submitted by Elementary Teachers Chesterfield County, Virginia
Design Briefs posted as a courtesy to teachers in Chesterfield County, Virginia
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Professional Development ...... Teacher Resources ...... Schools Planet Publications
Everyday Design Briefs.....FAQ ...... About CEE ...... Contact Us ...... Home

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