Various engineering education programs have been developed for K-12 students, and most of the programs have adopted engineering design as the primary teaching and learning method. The Infinity Project ( was started in 1999 by Southern Methodist University’s Lyle School of Engineering and Texas Instruments. The project partnered with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and a team of university faculty, teachers, engineers, and researchers. The project targeted grades 6-12 and provides curriculum, instructional materials, and hands-on design projects (Brophy, Klein, Portsmore, & Rogers, 2008). The Infinity Project features a design process of eight steps: 1) Identify the problem, 2) Define the goals and identify the constraints, 3) Research and gather information, 4) Create a potential design solution, 5) Analyze the viability of the solution, 6) Choose the most appropriate solution, 7) Build and implement the design, and 8) Test and evaluate the design (The Infinity Project, n. d.)

TeachEngineering ( is a non-profit engineering program funded primarily by the NSF National Science Digital Library program. The project is aligned with Next Generation for Science Standards (NGSS), Standards for Technological Literacy (STL), and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). The TeachEngineering project adopted an engineering design process model of seven circular steps: 1) Ask: identify the needs & constraints, 2) Research the problem, 3) Imagine: develop possible solutions, 4) Plan: select a promising solution, 5) Create: build a prototype, 6) Test and evaluate the prototype, and 7) Improve: redesign as needed. The project description emphasized the iterations of the design process. TeachEngineering’s lessons often include this seven-step design process model, but some units for lowers suggest partial design processes, such as “Ask → Imagine → Plan → Create → Improve” (omitted Research the problem and Test and evaluate the prototype) (TeachEngineering, n. d.)

The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) developed various engineering and technology education curriculum based on the Standards for Technological Literacy. Advanced Design Applications (ITEA/ITEEA, 2006), ITEEA’s engineering and technology education program, adopted a technological design loop model with eight steps: 1) Clarifying the problem, 2) Brainstorming ideas, 3) Selecting a potential solution, 4) Modeling and prototyping, 5) Testing, 6) Evaluating and refining, 7) Implementing, and 8) Communicating results. This design process model was developed based on the Standards for Technological Literacy with an emphasis on technical problem-solving.

Engineering is Elementary (EiE) is one of the most well-known engineering education curricula for elementary students (Cunningham, 2009). EIE was developed by Boston’s Museum of Science. EiE developed a design process model and noted that engineers follow the procedures to solve engineering problems. The EiE presented the eight steps of the engineering design process model: 1) Identify, 2) Investigate, 3) Imagine, 4) Plan, 5) Create, 6) Test, 7) Improve, and 8) Communicate (EiE Engineering Everywhere Engineering Design Process Poster, n. d.). Additionally, EiE showed the alternative design process model that has five steps: Ask: What is the problem? 2) Imagine: What are some solutions? 3) Plan: Draw a diagram and Decide what materials need, 4) Create: Build my design and Test it out, and 5) Improve: How can I make my design better? (EiE Engineering Adventures Engineering Design Process, n. d.) EiE curricula emphasizes on the flexibility and iterative nature of the design process.

Design stage The Infinity Project (n. d.) TeachEngineering

(n. d.)

ITEEA (2006) EiE (n. d.)
Identify the problem 1.    Identify the problem

2.    Define goals and identify the constraints

1.      Ask: Identify the need & constraints 1.      Clarifying the problem 1.      Identify

2.      Investigate

Research and generate ideas 3.    Research and gather information

4.    Create potential design solution

2.      Research the problem

3.      Imagine: Develop possible solution

2.      Brainstorming ideas 3.      Image
Select a solution 5.    Analyze the viability of solution

6.    Choose the most appropriate solution

4.      Plan: Select a promising solution 3.      Selecting a potential solution 4.      Plan
Build the design product 7.    Build and implement the design 5.      Create: Build a prototype 4.      Modeling and prototyping 5.      Create
Test 8.    Test and evaluate design 6.      Test and evaluate prototype 5.      Testing 6.      Test
Present and improve 7.      Improve: Redesign as needed 6.      Evaluating and refining

7.      Implementing

8.      Communicating results

7.      Improve

8.      Communicate