Look at these five types of headphones:


Which one would you buy?  

The most important question is WHY would you decide to buy one over another. 


TO DO (group)

List the reasons why you would buy the headphones underneath its picture.

What reasons do consumers consider when choosing to purchase goods or services?  When these reasons affect your design, they become your parameters or the limits in which producers and engineers are working.

Is your reason about the price?
(This is an example of COST.)

Is your reason about the way the headphone works?
(This is an example of FUNCTION.)

Is your reason because you like the way the headphone looks?
(This is an example of MARKETABILITY.)

Is your reason about the way the headphones work?
(This is an example of SAFETY.)

Is your reason about how long will they last? How “green” was the process used in making it?
(This is an example of SUSTAINABILITY


Day at Work: Mechanical Engineer

What's a day at work like for a mechanical engineer? Watch the following video of one working on headphones.


There are different branches of engineering.  The four main categories are MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, CIVIL, AND CHEMICAL, but there are many more branches based on specific areas.   

  • Electrical engineering relates to creating and improving products that have electricity move through them, like lights.
  • Civil engineering relates to creating and improving our world around us, like streets and buildings.
  • Chemical engineering relates to creating and improving products based on their matter, such as toothpaste or plastic.

There are many other areas of engineering that are more specific, such as aeronautical engineering (flight), agricultural engineering (farming), biomedical engineering (healthcare), construction engineering (building), computer engineering (computers), environmental engineering (environment), industrial engineering (manufacturing and production), materials engineering (selecting and creating new materials, like solids), and nuclear engineering (breaking down and combining nuclei).


Day at Work: Software Engineer

Here’s a video about a day at work for a software engineer. Direct URL:

dotsThe Engineering Design process is a loop of actions that an engineer goes through.

EDP_WebpageGraphic-01In Think Tank to Shark Tank, you identified a need at the beginning then moved along the circle clockwise, researching what others have already done and then to come up and plan with possible solutions.  In the next session, you’ll be designing and building a prototype.


TO DO (group)

What if you knew someone who disliked their lip gloss and you thought you could make a newchapstick lip gloss that could be better. How could lip gloss be better in terms of:

  • Cost?
  • Function? (how it works)
  • Marketability? (how it product attracts a consumer)
  • Safety? (how to find materials that are not toxic and may even be healthy)
  • Regulatory? (how it meets national regulations)
  • Legal? (how it meets a need that is not already patented)
  • Sustainability? (how it keeps the environment balanced)

Get together in a group and discuss how you can make a better lip gloss. How many of the parameters above were you able to address in your plans?


TO DO (on your own)

What type of engineering will help in the production of your product?  What revisions do you feel you should make to your idea or design based on the information your found in this session?


Next Session 🡆


Produced with funds provided by Burton D. Morgan Foundation


*Think Tank to Shark Tank: From Engineering to Entrepreneurship is in no way affiliated with, associated with, or endorsed by Sony Corporation or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.