Name of Unit Engineering Design Process and the EV3
Author(s) Marya Schnedeker
School Winship School
Teacher Katie McEnaney and Benny Wilson
Brief Description Students go through the steps of the engineering design process and create solutions with the EV3. This lesson includes On-brick workbooks (pre-programmed EV3s).
Grade(s) 5th
Keywords EV3
on-brick workbooks
Number of Weeks 8
Week 1 Snap Circuits – 45 minutes Purpose:

  • Recap circuits from previous semester
  • Learn about the classroom dynamics.


  • Box (clear plastic container) of Snap circuits that contained: different conductors (wires), fan, motor, resistor, LED, solar panel, power source – batteries (2 AA’s) inside battery holder, slide switch, press switch, and base grid.


  • Groups of 3 students were given box and told to find out how each piece works.
  • Boxes were put away, then as a class we discussed the different pieces – what worked, what didn’t.


  • The lesson went very well. Students were engaged the whole time. I was a little afraid that students would get bored since they already knew circuits well from doing the last semester. However, I think it worked well because they were applying knowledge they learned from last semester to a new toy (last year they used squishy circuits).
  • Common issues students had were – short circuits, getting the solar panel to work (there was no desk lamp in the classroom, but I was able to install a flashlight app on my phone that worked, but only lit the LED up faintly), finding the correct LED direction.
  • This was a great excersize because it was challenging at first, but they were able to accomplish the tasks and get feedback (with LED, motor, fan) from their circuit.
Week 2 Identifying the problem and researching Purpose: Students were re-introduced to the Engineering Design Process (EDP). Start the first steps: identifying the problem and researching solutions. Materials

  • EV3 Kit
  • Pre-programmed EV3 with on-brick workbook that runs the motors forward/backward and off when different EV3 buttons are pressed.


  • Brainstorm with class the steps in the EDP and explained any steps students missed.
  • Problem: Build a car that will clean LEGOs off the floor
  • Introduced the different parts of the EV3 and related it to circuits by talking about the battery, motors, wires, etc.
  • Told students to start by researching their materials (explore the LEGO kits) and to try to get the motors working.


  • Students were able to get the motors working.
  • However, they did struggle with figuring out how to build a robot that cleans LEGO pieces from the floor.
  • Students spent a lot of time just exploring the kit
  • Accidentally forgot to take the instruction books out of the kit. Had to convince kids not to use them (designs very complicated and they can think of solution on own). It was also a problem, because the teacher was encouraging them to use the books (I think because they were trying to get the students to use their resources like using the dictionary when one doesn’t know the meaning of a word).
Week 3 Brainstorming Solutions & Exploring Ideas Purpose:

  • Highlight the next steps in the EDP – Brainstorming and exploring ideas
  • Showed students an example car and emphasized attaching motors.


  • The example car really helped students wrap their heads around design ideas.
  • Students still had trouble with attaching the motors, but by the end most were able to figure it out.
Week 4 Finishing building car
Week 5 Sensors
Week 6 Sensors
Week 7 Final Project
Week 8 Final Project

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