An authentic design problem is the delivery of vaccines to people living in remote villages around the world. Many remote areas struggle to receive necessary vaccines for various reasons, including rough terrain between medical facilities and villages and towns that is impassable to most vehicles. This activity engages students in the engineering design process as they design, build, and test a model of a vehicle capable of traveling rough terrain without damaging the vaccines it is transporting. In this simulated design task, students use K’nex and LEGO building materials to construct a vehicle that can travel along a LEGO track simulating rough terrain. This activity could be used to introduce students to the engineering design process. Suggestions are provided for increasing the complexity of the design challenge (e.g., carry more than one container, design a vehicle without wheels, etc.) as well as for incorporating an additional design challenge focused on the cold chain process of vaccine delivery.
Lesson plan & supporting document: