Unit Overview

Youth use the Engineering Design Process to design their own helmets to protect the brain in a crash test.

  • Grades 6–8
  • Setting: Out of school
  • Science connection: Information transfer, human body
  • 7 activities
  • 50–60 Minutes per activity

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Youth are introduced to engineering and the Engineering Design Process as they work in teams to engineer a wall that will support Humpty Dumpty.
Youth play a Technology Trivia game that guides them to think about the breadth of technology.
Youth investigate ways to protect fragile pasta from breaking upon drop impact.
Youth learn about the lobes of the brain and the functions they control and identify the impacts of concussions by simulating the symptoms of a severe concussion.
Engineering teams plan, create, and test their first helmet design.
Teams improve their designs to better meet the criteria.
Youth communicate their work to each other and to visitors.


Special Report Video

Introduces the field of biomechanical engineering and why wearing a helmet to protect your brain is so important through a visit to a roller derby rink and a brain bank. Use throughout the unit. (10:15)

What's Included?

  • Educator Guide (PDF)
  • Engineering Journal (PDF)
  • Special Report Video (YouTube)
  • Print Materials (PDF)