Engineering Design Process

At the Thinkabit Lab, allowing students ample time to work with team members through the engineering design process is critical. We stress the importance of making a design before building something. Explain to students that an important part of being an engineer is being able to work in a team. Ask students to be sure that all team members contribute to the design of the Robo-craft. We’ve listed teacher instructions below:

Robo-craft Presentations

At the Thinkabit Lab we treat student presentations like a game show. We act like a game show host and when students come up to present they are interviewed. We discovered that students sometimes experience technical difficulties, so we created a “Technical Difficulties” sign and taped it to the front of the podium to give students a chance to troubleshoot their Robo-crafts before their presentations. We also find fun ways to applaud students and always congratulate them on specific strengths of their work!

We’ve listed teacher instructions below:

Unique Talents

At the Thinkabit Lab students develop self-awareness by exploring their unique strengths (S), interests (I) and values (V). While it’s common for students to share similar SIVs with some of their friends, the unique combination of each person’s SIVs is very personal. Individual SIVs contribute to one’s career choices and education path. It is important to revisit one’s superpowers on a regular basis because strengths, interests and values will change over time.

Exploring Careers

At the Thinkabit Lab we share that companies like Qualcomm have an array of technical and non-technical careers. We provide an opportunity for students to explore some of the careers that make up the world of work in the tech industry. We have developed career cards with job descriptions unique to Qualcomm and labor market information that reflects national averages that are sourced from (ONET) a government resource database.

Internet of Things

Imagine a world where “Things” such as mobile devices, thermostats, heat sensors, appliances, action cameras, gas pipe monitors, and motion sensors—could discover, connect and interact wirelessly and then intelligently respond to your needs. This is possible, with the Internet of Things (IoT).

These “Things” from various brands and manufacturers detect each other and connect using electronics and software just like what connects your cell phone to the Internet.


Engineers use the engineering design process to design, build, and test solutions to a problem. Students, in teams, will design and build their own Robo Craft using the skills learned in the Servo activity. The Robo-craft activity is comprised of 4 components (b-e).

Robo-crafts Components

b. Basic Engineering Concepts

c. Engineering Design Process

d. Build the Robo-craft

e. Robo-craft Presentations


Mechanical engineers design and use machines to solve problems. Machines, including robots, are powered by motors. A Servo is a small motor of which there are several different types. This is how robots and many other automated machines work. There are different types of Servos. Standard Servos are small motors that can be instructed to move to any angle in a half circle (from 0 to 180 degrees) and remain there until instructed to move again. Continuous Servos are small motors that can be instructed to spin forwards or backwards in a full circle at different speeds.

LED Circuit

An electrical circuit needs to be a complete loop for electric current to flow through it. Various electrical components can be connected in different ways to control the flow of electric current and make electrical devices that do a wide variety of things. There are also different ways to build a circuit that result in the same effect.

LED Blink

Computer programs are created using computer code. Changing computer code can change how computer programs function. A computer programmer writes computer code to create computer programs that facilitate communication, make equipment and tools work, and solve problems. In the LED Blink activity students learn to control an LED by uploading a program to the Arduino board, change the code on the computer to make the LED blink at different speeds. The LED Blink activity is comprised of 11 components (b - l).

LED Blink Components 

b.   Explore the Materials

History of Qualcomm

The video portrays the History of Qualcomm. It provides students an overview of why Dr. Jacobs founded Qualcomm. See the Implementation tab for more information.

At the Thinkabit Lab we share the following fun facts with students that can be shared with them before or after playing the video.

Fun Facts:


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