To do list
- Pick materials to reverse engineer
- Possible Items
- - yo-yo that returns by itself (potential hazard if they start to play with it)
- - bicycle bell
- - calculator
- - alarm clock
- - mouse
- - kitchen/egg timer
- - disposible camera w/o flash
- - bop-it pen
- - ball that flashes upon impact
- - electric toothbrush
- - old-school pencil sharpener
- - water gun
- - cost
- - safe
- - interesting to dissect; challenging yet doable
- - something that can be dissected with relative ease
- Possible Items
- Currently one item per group. Each group provided with ziplock bag to store dissected items.
- Split into groups of 2
- Figure out how things work
- Break things apart, but only have one so no smashing
- Make poster and present at end of class (2 classes?)
- Learning skills rather than concepts (groupwork, thinking critically, presentations)
Sketch of the Reverse Engineering activity:
Engineering Design 101: Reverse Engineering
You are a junior engineer at the company PHS Engineers’R Us. You are provided with a product that is already marketed by your rival company. You are given a task by your boss to figure out how the product works.
Primary question: How does the product work? How is the product designed and how do its individual parts interact with one another so that it can achieve its function?
Other factors that you might want to consider if you have the time: The product provided is designed well enough so that it can be sold in a local .99 cents store. Why do you think the product and its individual parts are designed the way it is? Is it critical for its function? Cost-efficient in materials? User-friendly? For error-proof? Safety issue? Easy to assemble/manufacture (cost-efficient in manufacture)?
You can also analyze the packaging of the material if you wish.
Say that your company wants to manufacture and sell an “improved” version of the product. What changes in the product design would you suggest to improve the product? Where would your “improved” product be sold and at what cost? What is your product’s target group? (Note that your definition of “improvement” can be different from another person, depending on the product’s objectives/constraints)
Day 1: Description of project, start reverse engineering, perhaps start making the poster
Day 2: Finish making the poster, poster presentation - science fair style