Using Failure to Introduce The Engineering Design Process (1 of 4)



Through the lens of a famous engineering failure, this lesson plan will introduce the Engineering Design Process (EDP) as the method by which student teams choose and design their CTE projects. The author of this activity will model this after an Electric Vehicle/Alternative Transportation CTE course, but please realize that this example can be used for the selection of any large or small scale project.

Lesson Time

EDP and The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster
15 Minutes
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Demo Device
10 Minutes
EDP Process Explained
30 Minutes
Student Response Analysis
5 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Energy, Environment, and Utilities Energy, Environment, and Utilities
    • Energy and Power Technology
    • Telecommunications
    • Environmental Resources
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives


Next Generation Science Standards (4)
California English Common Core Standards (1)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will understand the fundamental components of the Engineering Design Process (EDP)
  • Students will understand that not all components of a particular EDP will necessarily apply to all engineering challenges
  • Students will be exposed to a case study in an engineering failure and determine where the EDP was not appropriately followed or applied
  • Students will come away from this lesson understanding the critical steps that they will follow as they begin the research and design of their CTE projects.

Get access to the rest of this Lesson and over 3000 more!

Create a Free Account or now!