During the instant cable car challenge students were introduced to the design process that engineers in the industry use to brainstorm, build, test prototypes, and launch a final product. In a team of three or four, using only the materials provided, students were to design and build a device or vehicle to move a small figure (or other object) as far as possible across the room on the fishing line cable.
At the conclusion of the activity students had to answer and discuss the following reflection questions: Why do you think brainstorming is helpful when solving a problem? How did testing improve your design? With respect to designing the solution of a problem, what are some important characteristics of a successful team?