Practices for an Engineering Mindset

Explore by Practice

Use an Engineering Design Process

Learn how engineers use a systematic, iterative process, called the engineering design process, to generate solutions.

Working together by 3D printer. Looking at printed objects and discussing. Selective focus to 3D printer printing an object with creative team in background.

Explore Materials

Learn how engineers consider the properties of materials as they select those that are most appropriate for the task.

Two teenage girls laugh together as they sit at a table in their high school classroom and build a bridge using a model kit.

Consider Real World Problems

Learn how engineers design solutions to real-world problems. They take into consideration the context, background information, needs of the client, and the implication of possible solutions.

Tutor talking with a group of students in front of a blackboard during a class.

Apply Math and Science

Learn how engineers use their knowledge of science, math, and other areas to solve problems.

Male and female middle school students work on a project together in science class. A teacher is helping them.

Balance Criteria and Constraints

Learn how engineers identify criteria and constraints, using trade-offs to balance competing factors.

A serious teen boy uses a soldering gun to connect wires as he builds a robot at home.

Persist and Learn from Failure

Learn how engineers learn from failure to revise and improve the designs. This requires perseverance and improving through multiple iterations.

Smart STEM schoolgirl concentrates as she finishes building a drone during robotics class.

Evaluate and Iterate

Learn how and why engineers test their designs to see how well they work. They collect and analyze data to revise and improve solutions in an iterative process.

An aerial view of a female teacher with her students as she goes through work on their course and gives them direction and help.

Envision Multiple Solutions

Learn how engineers think innovatively, brainstorm and analyze multiple solutions, compare the effectiveness of various designs, and make informed recommendations about open-ended problems.

A young man, who is wearing protective eyewear, smiles as he enjoys his engineering class with peers - they are all wearing blue coveralls.

Identify as Engineers

Learn how to support youth to envision themselves as possible future engineers by engaging them in meaningful engineering experiences.

Teacher With Male Pupils Building Robotic Vehicle In Science Lesson.

Work in Teams

Learn how engineers work together to bring a diversity of knowledge and perspectives to the problem. Communicating and negotiating effectively are important skills for teamwork.

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