Lesson 4
Part 1

Water, Water Everywhere: Designing Water Filters

Designing a Water Filter (1) / Grade 5 / Jersey City, NJ

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Water, Water Everywhere: Designing Water Filters L4P1

Students focus on the environmental engineering problem of providing clean water as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve their own water filters.

Reflection Questions

Marlene expects her students to know the steps of the Engineering Design Process (EDP) and to reflect on how and when they use each step. Where in the video do you see her reinforcing these ideas?

Marlene continuously highlights the steps of the EDP through her use of posters, pages in the EDP packet, and conversations.

  • Marlene removes the Ask poster from the board and replaces it with the posters for Imagine and Plan, highlighting the two steps the class will work on during this class. (0:51)
  • Marlene explicitly defines the Ask step by explaining, “You are not just playing with water. You are actually focusing. This is the problem, this is what I have to fix, and this is how I am going to fix it.” (1:20)
  • Before moving on to the Create Step, Marlene reflects on the Plan Step by saying, “you just finished the planning. You drew a diagram, you made a list of materials, and many of you also created the list of the price.”(9:06)

How do the EiE handouts for the Plan step scaffold the process of slowing down, thinking about possibilities, and arriving at possible solutions?

The handouts break the process down into discreet steps and encourage groups to work together and discuss important details of the design before they start building.

  • When making the list of materials, students are forced to consider how many different things they will use and plan for how much of each material they will need to buy. (8:10)
  • In order to draw their filter diagram on Plan [4-7] students discuss and come to agreement about the specific order of materials they will place in the filter. Any differences in opinion or misunderstandings are cleared up before construction. (8:33)
  • By calculating the prices of all their materials, students are forced to consider the cost of their design and perhaps modify choices before they even start. (9:02)