Unit 3 - How can an idea change the world?

Investigate Phase Instructions

In the Investigate Phase, students are asked to begin by identifying the problem or issue they will focus on. Students will turn in a Project Proposal Form once they have identified their problem or issue choice. Students look to better understand the scope of the issue, the history of the problem and even look to find out what types of solutions have been attempted and what success they have had. Appropriate problems are ones that are shared by your local community (the town you live in or the school you attend) or are issues on the national stage or have international impacts.

Students will produce an expository essay (see here for help on expository essays) on the issue they have chosen as part of their unit 3 design portfolio. This essay should provide an adequate definition of the problem and should be written so that there is an introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs in the body and a final conclusion paragraph. Students will be given some time in class to begin the essay, but the majority and remainder of the document will need to be finished outside of class time..

Students will research the problem and create a design brief or personal goal statement explaining:

What am I attempting to create?
How will I go about creating it?
Why is it important to create this as part of the solution to the problem?
Who will benefit from this product?

Students will take their ideas and create a set of specifications (requirements and constraints) that the eventual product must meet. These specification will be the indicators of a successful product. Students will also need to produce some initial ideas on what types of testing methods will be employed to test the product against the specifications.

Any outside research done should be collected and shown in a works cited area complete with full references.

(*At the end of class on March16th, your Design Tech instructor will give you a temporary grade for your Explanatory Essay. This temporary grade will only be an indication of what you would earn if no more work was done on it. The Investigate Phase documents will be reassessed after the product is due on May 26th. Any changes made between the 16th and the 26th will affect the final grade given for the investigate stage.)

Investigate Rubric

  • The student explains the problem, discussing its relevance.
  • The student critically investigates the problem, evaluating information from a broad range of appropriate, acknowledged sources.
  • The student provides comprehensive specifications directly related to the elements of a successful documentary.
  • The student describes detailed methods for appropriate testing to evaluate the product/solution against the design specification.
  • The student describes the problem, mentioning its relevance.
  • The student investigates the problem, selecting and analyzing information from some acknowledged sources.
  • The student provides a good number of specifications directly related to the elements of a successful documentary.
  • The student describes a test to evaluate the product/solution against the design specification.
  • The student states the problem.
  • The student investigates the problem, collecting information from sources.
  • The student list somes specifications.
  • The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors.

Online Idea Mapping Programs

Before you fill out the project proposal form, be sure to have access to the Brain Dump/Idea Mapping Document you used to brainstorm the issue you've decided to research and create your documentary on. Brain Dumping and Idea Mapping can easily be drawn by hand on paper, but to clean up these ideas, organize and share them you might want to use a tech tool to help. Here is a list of a few online idea mapping tools that you can use (or not) to help you get your ideas down into a more manageable and communicable format.


Exemplar Files

Essay Example #1:

Essay Example #2:

Template Files

Project Proposal Form:

5 Paragraph Expository Essay Outline Template :