Engineering design process : creating and 3D printing a mechanical toy
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This report describes an activity that explores the Engineering Design Process through a research-based module intended to be implemented in a grade 9-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classroom. Moreover, this study serves as a demonstration of the module’s effectiveness in guiding end users through the Engineering Design Process using computer aided design (CAD) software, to design and fabricate a fully working 3D printed mechanical toy. The hypothesis of the research is that usage of the module makes an impact on students’ proficiency with and understanding of the Engineering Design Process. Of the students enrolled in the Engineering Design and Presentation class (n=38) at the Brownsville Early College High School, a random sample (n=12) was selected for data collection purposes. Results showed that using the module increases students’ understanding of and proficiency with the Engineering Design Process and Autodesk Inventor. Finally, this paper provides insights on future modifications of the module that could lead to a better learning tool for STEM education.