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.


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.


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)