STEM Activities with Engineering Design Process

Engineering is generally perceived as a profession. But engineering problem-solving can be
seen as the process of creating a product design and producing a product. Societies from
antiquity to the present have sought answers to the needs of the period they live in. While
searching for these answers, they made use of science, technology and engineering. For the continuation of vital activities, they created solutions for basic needs such as shelter and nutrition and built caves, houses, temples and palaces for shelter. In addition, they used agricultural land for feeding and they tried to make agricultural products productive by making irrigation channels in these lands. It is seen that they are doing work that requires engineering studies while meeting their shelter and nutrition needs.

Engineering is the transformation of the materials and forces/energies in nature into
structures, machines, products and processes in the most efficient way that reveals new
technologies by using the findings of science, mathematics and technology.
In engineering, the product is designed. The engineering design process is a process that
determines the best way to solve engineering problems.

The picture is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

Identification of the problem:

To begin engineering design, a need or problem action must be defined. Solution criteria should be determined and limitations should be defined. We expect students to notice the problem situation.

Drawing the design:

Includes modelling possible solutions, choosing the model or models that best meet the original need or problem. To solve the problem situation, we ask students to draw the patterns they imagine.

Investigating solution ways:

We want them to try their design successfully by doing solution researches, making mini designs if solutions are necessary, and testing the designs they have made.

Choosing the most appropriate solution:

We expect students who review the criteria and limitations in the problem situation to indicate which criteria should be compromised for the most appropriate solution. They prepare decision matrices for the best solution and, if necessary, can re-draw design drawings based on these decisions.

Making the prototype and testing the prototype:

After determining the best solution, we build a prototype using the materials provided for prototype construction. Students are welcome to retest their prototypes after their test prototypes are complete and necessary improvements have been made.


We ask students who design their products and make the necessary improvements after the tests to present their designs for scientific reasons.

Working process

We gave the earthquake-resistant building design as the project subject.
First of all, in this context, we are asked the students to determine the criteria and limitations appropriate to the project purpose and to reveal the solution steps, then we asked the students to do the first design drawings and solutions for the problem situation. However, the students observe the buildings around them and discuss with their classmates the proximity of the buildings to each other, their distance and how many floors they are. Later, we asked expert engineers to learn what they are paying attention to when constructing buildings. Then, we asked the students in the groups to build buildings in the desired dimensions from the foam boards given by the teacher. Firstly, we asked the students to draw and calculate the buildings on paper without cutting the foam. Because we did not give any other foam instead of foam. Finally, the students tested the model buildings they built and made the necessary improvements.

A selection of pictures from the project practice– The pictures are the author’s own
–(Attribution CC-BY)



” Imagine that you are a Civil Engineer and that you are in the team that will build an
earthquake-resistant building since the region you live in is an earthquake zone. The design of the building that you will design as a team will be tested for its durability. We financially support the project of the best design team by the company to be implemented. I wish
you success in your mission. ”

Limitations and criteria:

It will be studied in groups of four or five people.
We will not use materials other than the material provided and we will carry out the building design in a planned manner and we must take note of the plan created from them step by step. Then we draw the model of the design and create creative and original designs in line with the materials used. It is 2000 (100cm x 20cm) cm 2 ‘for use in building design. 20% zoning, zoning and town planning directorate.

The designed building:

It should be three floors and the base square. The building should be created at a height of at least 45 cm.

A selection of pictures from the project practice– The pictures are the author’s own
–(Attribution CC-BY)
A selection of pictures from the project practice– The pictures are the author’s own
–(Attribution CC-BY)


With STEM, 21st-century skills have improved in students. First of all, students who developed the skills of exchanging ideas, communicating and working in a team from their 21st-century skills, developed their problem-solving skills in the process and became individuals who produced solutions to problems in daily life.

The picture is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

About the Author: Mustafa Talha Soysal , Science PM Greta NEW STEM
Educators, Scientix Envoy, Turkey 

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