The Engineering Design Process: A Taco Party


(bouncy music) – [Narrator] The
engineering design process is a lot like making tacos. Here’s how. Let’s say you’ve had a long day. Maybe you’ve gone to class,
maybe you just got off work, maybe you just finished an
intense workout session. (grunts) It’s now seven o’clock, and you’re hungry. But you’ve got friends
coming over in half an hour. So, what do you do? You go through the
engineering design process. First, you define a problem or need. In this case, the
problem is you’re hungry, and you’ve got people
coming over in half an hour, and they might be hungry too. Next, you do some research to figure out the design requirements
and your limitations. So, in this case, you’d
assess things like, ingredients you have at hand,
money you’ve got to spend, how much time you have before
people start showing up, how many people you have to feed, and if any of those people
have dietary restrictions. Once you’ve got a pretty solid list of criteria and constraints, you can start brainstorming
ideas for solutions. Maybe you look online
at nearby food options. Then, maybe you go to the fridge and you start figuring
out what you can make. You weigh your options, and
you determine making something at home will be cheaper and faster than ordering something online. And you decide, everyone likes PB and J, but you don’t have gluten-free bread. (groans) But you do have corn tortillas. (bell dings) – I guess I’ll try PB
and J on corn tortillas. – [Narrator] And you make a prototype. You test it out and take a bite. It’s gross, but you wanna
make sure it’s not just you, so you get others to test it out, like your roommates or family. Everyone agrees, it’s gross. You ask questions and determine
what’s gross about it. In this case, your testers
like the tortillas, but not so much the PB and J. So, you go back to the
kitchen and reassess. This is what engineers call iterating, making changes based on
test and user feedback. You realize… – I’ve got ingredients for tacos? D’oh! – [Narrator] So you start
making some veggie tacos. You try one and think… – Hmm, this is kinda dry. – [Narrator] You have other people try it to get their feedback. Most people agree. – It’s kinda dry. – [Narrator] So, you go
back to your kitchen, and start iterating again. You find that you’ve got the
ingredients to make guacamole. You make the guac, and
you add it to the tacos. You test it out, and you’re like… – This is tasting pretty good. – [Narrator] But some of
the other testers think… – It could use some spice. – [Narrator] So, you
evaluate their feedback, you look in your kitchen, and you realize, you don’t have anything spicy. That’s when you call your
friend Sam, who’s coming over. And you’re like… – Hey Sam, can you bring
over some hot sauce? I’m making tacos. – [Narrator] And Sam’s like… – Sure! – [Narrator] Also… – I love tacos. – [Narrator] It’s now 7:30, and your friends start showing up. You tell your friends… – I made tacos, if you’re hungry. You can add hot sauce if you want. – [Narrator] And then, you and
your friends eat the tacos. They’re like… – These are pretty good. – I’m gonna Instagram that. – You should share the recipe online. – [Narrator] So you do. You’ve solved your hunger problem and engineered a taco party. (bouncy music)

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