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Impact Talks help students articulate social, ethical, and moral dimensions of engineering design, including to consider whether to implement an engineering design, who needs to have a voice in determining a solution, and what might be unintended consequences of a design. If we frame engineering design only as a universal force for good in a “march toward progress,” we might overlook concerns about how engineering can help replicate or disrupt injustices in local and global contexts. Impact Talks invite students to consider questions like, “should we design this?”, “what are the human and environmental consequences of considering this issue as an engineering design problem?”, or “who might this solution benefit and who might it harm?” In answering these questions, students need to draw on diverse sources of information and different perspectives to consider the impact of potential design solutions.

Impact Talks

Should we design this? Who and what will be impacted by our design?

Sample Teacher Prompts

If we designed this solution, what might happen? Who might benefit and who might be harmed?
Should we implement this design solution? Why or why not?
What are the pros and cons of this design solution? How do we determine what to prioritize?

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!

Impact Talks can support students to engage in:

1. Asking questions and defining problems

8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Classroom Video Examples

Access Video Examples

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