Design Problem : Control Systems

In previous lessons students were introduced to a variety of ways to transfer energy through mechanical systems. Some of those systems included simple machines, gear systems, pulley systems, sprocket systems, and fluid power. They also learned how to control different mechanisms by writing programs utilizing control software.


Students will now apply what they have learned to a design problem using the design process as their guide.

Problems exist everywhere, and they vary in their degree of complexity and importance. Regardless of how problems are identified or from where they come, engineers use the design process to creatively and efficiently solve problems.

Solutions to problems are sometimes created by teams. These teams work together, constantly communicating with each other, to create the desired product. The team may receive a problem for which they are expected to create a solution with very few constraints. This allows the team to think creatively and use their ingenuity.


In this lesson students will work in teams to solve a design problem that focuses on control systems. They will use their prior knowledge to create a solution to the problem. It is important for students to understand that an acceptable solution is one that fits the constraints and specifications of the design brief.

K1 – Know the purpose of each part of a design brief. 
K2 – Describe a step-by-step, iterative design process. 

S1 – Brainstorm and sketch possible solutions to an existing design problem. 
S2 – Create a decision making matrix for a design problem.
S3 – Select an approach that meets or satisfies the constraints provided in a design brief. 
S4 – Create a detailed pictorial sketch or use 3D modeling software to document a proposed design. 
S5 – Present a workable solution to a design problem. 



Vandegrift High School | 9500 McNeil Drive, Austin, TX | T: 512 570 2300 |