IEL Focusing on Client – Mueller + Copolla

Name of Unit

Seeing Characters as Clients Through IEL


Matthew Mueller and Sarah Copolla




Ben Garton

Brief Description

Using nxts to solve a problem that they are able to identify that a character has in a book they are reading.




IEL Client Focus

Number of Weeks


Week 1

Dorothy’s Lego house can’t break when dropped. The kids must design a house that fits Dorothy and survives a drop test.

Week 2

Introduced the story of the Three Little Pigs and talked about the potential clients, what problems they had, and constraints that would apply to the solving of those problems. Kids gave in material requests for what could be used to design their solution.

Week 3

Kids started to build prototypes of their solution. Engineering design process was stressed and the concept of testing was introduced.

Week 4

Kids finished building their prototypes of their design and then tested and rebuilt their designs if they had time and then presented to the class.

Week 5

Danny Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl, which the class was reading independently, was introduced as the next character as client based design project. The problem that we focused on was the scene where Danny has to get his father out of the hole in Hazell’s Wood. They had to consider material designs and see if they could come up with a better solution than what was used in the novel.

Week 6

Kids continued working on their projects to help Danny get his father out of the hole. The idea of testing their project with scale models was introduced as well.

Week 7

Children completed work on their projects and tested them and presented to the class.

Week 8

For the next project, the kids were told to now find their own problems in Danny Champion of the World to come up with solutions for. If they were unable to come up with a problem they wanted to work on in that book, they were allowed to think of problems in other stories they were familiar with to come up with solutions for. They requested any additional materials they thought they could us as they planned out their solutions.

Week 9

The students continued work on their projects and the idea of testing was again stressed while also taking into consideration character traits and what certain characters could or would actually do based on what they knew about that character to solve the problem.

Week 10

The children finished up their projects and tested and presented. To wrap up, the ideas of solving for a client, limitations on solutions, and the engineering design process were all stressed again.

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