Objective: To help EMDC teams brainstorm and define the task their machine will accomplish based on the given broad theme.  

Time: 30± minutes  

Materials Needed:  

  • Whiteboard or large paper  
  • Markers  
  • Handout (see below)  


  1. Introduce the activity by explaining the importance of brainstorming and defining a specific task for the engineering machine design contest. Emphasize the need to align the task with the given broad theme. 
  1. Distribute the handout to each team member. Explain that they will follow the steps listed on the handout to generate ideas and collectively decide on the task their machine will accomplish.  
  1. Display the steps on a whiteboard or large paper for everyone to refer to during the activity.  
  1. Facilitate a discussion around each step, encouraging team members to share their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Provide guidance and ask probing questions to stimulate their thinking process.  
  1. Allow approximately 5 minutes for each step, but adjust the time allocation as needed to ensure a balanced discussion.  
  1. After completing the steps, guide the team towards reaching a consensus on the task their machine will accomplish. Encourage them to consider feasibility, creativity, and alignment with the given theme.  
  1. Wrap up the activity by summarizing the chosen task and emphasizing the importance of teamwork and collaboration throughout the engineering machine design contest.  

Handout: Brainstorming Steps  

Brainstorming Your Machine Theme and Task 

Brainstorming is an opportunity to explore a wide range of ideas. The following steps will guide you through the processes of choosing YOUR machine theme and task. As a team be creative, open-minded, and actively participate.  

Brainstorming Steps: 

  • Step 1: Understand the Theme  

Discuss and clarify the broad theme for the current year.  

  • Step 2: Brainstorm Key Concepts  

Generate a list of key concepts or ideas related to the theme. Consider areas such as medical advancements, prosthetics, enhancing human capabilities, or analyzing biological functions.  

  • Step 3: Identify Potential Tasks  

Based on the key concepts, brainstorm various tasks that the machine could accomplish. Think about specific actions, functions, or objectives that align with the theme.  

  • Step 4: Evaluate Feasibility  

Evaluate the feasibility of each potential task. Consider factors such as available resources, technical constraints, and time limitations.  

  • Step 5: Prioritize and Select Task  

Discuss and rank the potential tasks based on their alignment with the theme, feasibility, innovation, and team interest. Select the task that best meets these criteria.  

  • Step 6: Refine and Define the Task  

Refine the chosen task by clearly defining its objectives, scope, and desired outcomes. Ensure that the task is challenging yet achievable within the given context.  

  • Step 7: Reflect and Finalize  

Reflect on the team’s decision and ensure that everyone is in agreement with the chosen task. Finalize the task description, ensuring clarity and understanding among team members.