top of page

After students create and test a range of design solutions, Design Synthesis Talks can help them reason across these designs and synthesize common themes. These talks can help students compare and contrast across designs intended to solve the same problem. Sometimes students’ solutions are designed to accomplish the same function but with different structures. In these tasks Design Synthesis Talks can prompt students to draw on evidence from their observations to compare and evaluate the different structures.

At other times students might scope a problem differently and work towards different solution mechanisms. In these tasks Design Synthesis Talks can help students build a more nuanced understanding of a design problem by noticing differences in how their peers interpreted criteria and constraints and tackled the problem overall.

Design Synthesis Talks

What are similarities and differences in our designs? What can we learn from these patterns?

Sample Teacher Prompts

What do you notice across the different design solutions? What are different categories of solutions?
What is something in your design or in somebody else’s that you think worked very well?
What have we learned from the patterns we observed across different solutions?

Design Talks
& the NGSS

Ideally, engineering design tasks provide an exciting context for students to engage in the NGSS practices. However, in reality, it can be challenging for a small group of students on their own to apply the full power of these practices to an engineering design process. Design Talks can help!

Design Synthesis Talks can support students to engage in:

2. Developing and using models

4. Analyzing and interpreting data

7. Engaging in argument from evidence

Classroom Video Examples

Access Video Examples

The Design Talks videos are intended for use by educators for professional development purposes only. If the videos do not appear above, please sign up or log in using your school-affiliated email address.

bottom of page