The Reverse Engineering Challenge is an activity for teams of 2-5 students to explore engineering and 21st Century Skills while identifying a solution to a proposed challenge.

Students participating in a Reverse Engineering Activity will:

  1. Be given a challenge scenario and a product or device.
  2. Disassemble and examine in detail the product or device.
  3. Identify technology from the product/device that can be used to solve the given challenge.
  4. Create a proposed solution using that technology.
  5. Present their solution to others.

An overview of the scenario will be provided to students in advance of the activity. Teams are scored on Teamwork, Team Presentation, and Proposed Solution. Through this activity, students are able to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) principles while having fun. 


Objectives

1. Providing a low-cost or affordable experience for students.
2. Inspiring an interest in engineering and related career pathways.
3. Equipping students with skills that will help prepare them for future careers.

Example Challenge Scenarios

The following challenge scenarios can be used for practice and give students an idea of the type of challenge they will encounter during the activity!

Example #1

You are the lead team for an engineering firm. A potential client has approached your firm with a new project. The client wants you to propose a design for a personal heating device that they can sell at local ice fishing contests. The design needs to be safe and handheld. The client wants to focus on the efficiency of the device and is interested in renewable energy. Additionally, the client recently purchased a large number of hairdryers and wants to reuse at least one component of the hairdryer in the design.

Example #2

Your grandma needs an easier, safe way to feed her cat, Fluffy. Often Fluffy hides under the bed and will not come out for your grandma. Recently, it has become more challenging for your grandma to lift the cat food bag – she insists on buying the 50-pound bag of cat food. She knows that you are very innovative and has given you a box of random items she planned on donating. She wants you to use these items to build a device that will help her feed Fluffy. A small smoothie blender in the box catches your eye as something that might be most useful.


Activity Download

Complete the form below to access the Reverse Engineering Challenge activity plans!