User:Vtaylor/Engineering Design challenge/example

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Here is the "solution" and the story about it. Listed are the steps in the Engineering Design Process and additional information about that step in the process. The basic engineering concepts that are important to the story are listed as well. If you had to come up with this solution, what questions would you need answered?

(Comment.gif: What were they thinking? What were the questions that the engineers asking as they designed and built the solution featured? )

(Comment.gif: Do we need to provide some / all the questions to get the reader to see the process and the point?)

Sputnik 1

In the 1950s the United States and Russia were working to open the next frontier - space. Once the technical difficulties of launching a man-made satellite where solved, there were lots of ideas for using them for telecommunications, espionage, research, and navigation. The first step was getting something into orbit around the earth that could communicate its presence back to observers on earth.

Sputnik 1

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union sent into orbit Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in history. Sputnik 1 was the first of thousands of artificial satellites launched into space from earth.

Design Challenge : the space race

(Comment.gif: Why would anyone want to put junk into space?)

Using the technologies available at the time (and inventing some new ones specifically for the purpose) engineers and scientists worked to identify and solve thousands of problems of building and launching a man-made object from earth.

Each question corresponds to a step in the Engineering Design Process.

  • Ask (What? Ask questions, understand the need, identify the problem)

(Comment.gif: Why were the U.S. and Russia in a "race"? )

  • Imagine (So what? Imagine, brainstorm, explore)

(Comment.gif: What technologies were available? )

  • Plan (Now what? Plan, design)

(Comment.gif: How could the work be divided up so many different groups could work together over a shorter time? How important was it that they work quickly? How much money did they spend?)

  • Create (Do it. Create, try it out)

(Comment.gif: What problems did they have while they were building a man-made satellite?)

  • Improve (If this then what? Improve, make it better)

(Comment.gif: What improvements were needed? What did they change for the next satellite? What could they do differently today?)

Engineering vocabulary, concepts

Show and Tell
Now it is your turn. Here are some challenges for you to work on...

  • Tell others about what you have learned
  • Add your questions to the comments section

Learn more...

  • On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union sent into orbit Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in history.
  • about the size of a beach ball (58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path