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reverse engineer

Whoosh! The idea came to Lonnie Johnson with a big splash as he splashed water across the bathroom. Lonnie was curious from a young age, and took things apart to learn how they worked. Although he worked for NASA and was an aerospace engineer, his claim to fame is the Super Soaker. 


design challenge


How do scientists and engineers learn how things works? What can we learn from the parts? from the System? 

Many objects are made up of multiple parts in a system, and its important to know how they work together to accomplish a task. To learn from others, they often will reverse engineer an object. Reverse engineering: examine the construction or composition of another manufacturer's product in order to create (a duplicate or similar product).



​Simply Suggestions:

  • Old toys

  • Push Toy

  • Old computer

  • Retractable Pen

  • Radio


Your Choice: 

  • Can you take it a part and put it back together

  • What would happen if a different material were use? 

  • Can you redesign to make it better? More durable? Easier to use? 

  • Can you merge parts and pieces of different toys together to make a new toy? What problem does it solve? Who will play with it? 


Who will use the tool or toy? What considerations are made for the design? Are there parts that the user can interchange or replace? Could you trouble shoot if you needed to? 


How do you think it works? Make some predictions, what other toys or objects might work similarly? 

Retractable Pen: Can you imagine what the case and effect relationships are between the different parts of the system? 


Draw a model of the parts and pieces and how they go together in the bigger system. 

Redesign: If you are planning a toy redeisng, 

PE aligned

Including, but not limited to: 

  • ETS 1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool

  • ETS 1-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem

  • ETS 1-3 Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs




additional texts

supersoaker patent.jpg
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