Parents & Educators: Online Workshop

The Design Process

Click on each step to navigate through the design process.

The Design Process in Action

Whether their goal is to create a spacesuit or a wheelchair, engineers rely on the design process to guide them. It's the series of steps they use to come up with solutions.

When you see the design process in action, you'll notice that it's rarely the smooth succession of steps that the diagram at left implies. The steps often overlap and blur, and their order is sometimes reversed-it's a creative, fluid way of working that has to be adapted to each individual situation. As you guide kids through the design process, you'll want to be flexible and receptive to the different approaches your kids may try.

In this section, you'll:

  • Find out how to guide your kids through the design process.
  • Discover what's important about each step.
  • Watch and learn from DESIGN SQUAD video clips illustrating the process.
  • Explore strategies to advise, encourage, and motivate your kids.
  • Jot down your reflections and insights in the notepad we provide—print the workshop notepad (PDF, 204KB) before you begin.

Haven't seen DESIGN SQUAD yet? This video clip will tell you all about the PBS TV show.

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In collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration