Affordable experience

Providing a low-cost or affordable experience for students.

inspire interest

Inspiring an interest in engineering and related career pathways.

equip skills

Equipping students with skills that will help prepare them for future careers.

Reverse Engineering Challenge

The Reverse Engineering Challenge is an activity for teams of 2-3 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/or 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.

Through this activity, students are able to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) principles while having fun. 

Survival Challenge Scenario

You have been hiking in the remote wilderness for 3 days. While crossing a rushing river, you lose your footing and your backpack with all your gear floats down the river out of sight. You manage to hold on to a few supplies, keeping them safe and dry. You improvise. After examining and taking apart items, you follow the Engineering Design Process to redesign your remaining supplies into a device that will help you survive. Your survival needs are food, shelter, and clean water. 

Carplane Challenge Scenario

Your task is to design a carplane prototype that seamlessly transitions between roads and the sky, offering a solution to transportation challenges. With a focus on efficiency, safety, and cutting-edge technology, your team will pioneer the next generation of mobility. Get ready to revolutionize the way we move and embrace the future of transportation!

Facilitator Guide

Presentation & Script

Slide templates in Canva and PowerPoint with talking points.

Activity Plan

Everything you need to facilitate. NO experience required.

Academic & Career Connections

Connections to subject matters and career pathways to easily integrate into multiple settings.

Additional Challenge Scenarios Ideas

The following challenge scenarios can be used for inspiration in creating your own reverse engineering challenge based on the supplies you have available!

Example #1 – Renewable Hairdryer

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 – Cat Blender

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.

Facilitator Guide and Resources Download (FREE!)

Complete the form below to access the Reverse Engineering Challenge Facilitator Guide and Resources including presentation, script, activity plan, and more!