Unit Overview

Youth use the Engineering Design Process to design creative ways to reuse water.

  • Grades 6–8
  • Setting: Out of school
  • Science connection: Human impact on the environment
  • 8 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 the Engineering Design Process as they work together to engineer a tower to support a model water tank.
Youth will play a quiz game to define the word “technology” and learn that engineers design technologies to solve problems.
Youth investigate how using water for various tasks can impact the water’s quality.
Youth investigate the properties of filter materials and create their own water filters to remove or treat contaminants from a water sample.
Youth apply what they learned about filters and water quality to re-pipe a model house to reuse as much water as possible.
Youth work in groups to plan, create, and test their water reuse processes designed for an extreme environment scenario.
Youth work in groups to improve their water reuse process to better meet the criteria in their extreme environment.
Youth communicate their ideas about designing a water reuse process in the Engineering Showcase.


Special Report Video

In a visit to Arcosanti, an experimental city in Arizona, students find out about some ways that engineers solve the problem of water scarcity. (8:47)

What's Included?

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