In October of 2013, Washington State formally adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as our state’s science standards. These new sets of standards bring major shifts in the practice of teaching science, primarily in the areas of engineering and the intentional development of 21st century skills like problem solving, design, collaboration and learning from failure. The NW ALPS project saw this adoption as an opportunity to use engineering practices in the form of design challenges as another kind of formative assessment.
Design Challenges engage students in the practice of engineering design to solve a relevant, real-world problem. As they participate in design challenges tudents reinforce their science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts content knowledge during the process. Students take responsibility for assessing their own progress and incorporate peer feedback as they conceptualize and redesign their projects.
“I love how the challenge includes an opportunity for revision, of the product as well as the process required for development”.
—5th grade NW ALPS teacher
The documents in this section of the website represent design challenges which have been added to the research-based materials being used in the NW ALPS project, as well as other design challenges which can be used to give students the opportunity to practice and learn about and as engineers.