Teams had to first choose their client. They could choose the photographer needing a bag to protect his camera equipment while in the jungle photographing a jaguar. They could pick the athlete who needed a bag to protect his gear. They could choose creating a bag for a secret agent, or for the musician who needed a bag designed to protect and hide her flute during practice. Although all of the clients have different needs that have to be addressed in designing the bags, all of the bags have an element of camouflage, LED lighting, and protective layering.
Since it is very different to camouflage a bag into a jungle setting versus camoflauging a flute bag from being stolen in a city orchestra room, the teams have been coming up with some really creative design solutions.
Over the past two months, the students have been learning about how engineers use nature as inspiration when creating new technology. This final project pulls together all that they have been learning about in all of the individual labs. Teams get right to work since they already learned how to wire a home made switch to an LED, for example. These labs are what real life engineers do so this is an exciting way to get kids engaged and actively interested in science.
The final test will be to drop weights on the bag to test its protective needs. Also, the bag will be scored on how well it is camouflaged against the photograph the client gave them. They also will have to demonstrate how the LED light fulfilled their client's specifications. The teams love testing day! It is fun and thrilling to see how their designs do, and of course, teams run back to redesign their projects and come back to the testing table.