EDD Unit 5
Water Purification
Water Purification Introduction
Welcome to Unit 5

Many engineers are asked to solve specific problems with narrow parameters but open-ended solutions.  When tackling an engineering problem, it’s important to be able to work within the given criteria and constraints.  In this unit, you and your team will be asked to create a water purification system that must fit within certain constraints and also meet certain criteria.  In this unit, you’ll work with your team to:

  • Define the problem, research, brainstorm, and select various solutions to a water purification problem
  • Create a decision matrix based on the given problem
  • Identify and demonstrate your best solution

In addition to our engineering work, we’ll also do some work related to college and the future.  While you’re budgeting time for your game creation, you also need to do two college tasks.

  • College Task 1: Write College Essay #3 – UA Activities Scholarship
  • College Task 2: Write College Essay #4 – UA Individual Scholarship

When you’re done you will have conducted some materials research, designed your own water filter, and written a few college scholarship essays!

Part 1: The Problem

The Problem

In the first part of our unit, your job is to research different materials and see how well they might work to impact the turbidity and pH of contaminated water.  You’ll have a wide range of materials to work with, and it will take some time to do enough research to understand how those materials might fit together.  Start by looking through the criteria & constraints of the problem before you start gathering as much data as you can.


 Use the problem statement to develop a design brief, research and brainstorm possible solutions

 Build many prototypes, recording appropriate data for each

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed research



Part 2: Decision Matrix

Decision/Evaluation Matrix

Once your prototypes have been brainstormed and planned, it’s time to collect some data and compare the prototypes using a decision matrix.  For this part of the unit, you’ll learn about decision matrices and how they get used to compare multiple solutions.  In this case, you’ll then work to create a decision matrix based on both the criteria and constraints of the design problem.

With a decision matrix ready to go, it’s time to collect some data.  For each design, you’ll build your prototype and collect data from it when you try it out.  When you’re done, you’ll be able to evaluate the success of your various prototypes and identify your best design.


 Take notes on decision matrices, their creation, and their use in the engineering process

 Work with your team to create a decision matrix 

 Record the decision matrix in your engineering notebook and use it to evaluate the success of your various prototypes

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed decision matrix and conclusion


Part 3: College Tasks

College Tasks Overview

In addition to your work creating your custom-designed water filter, you also need to write two essays.  These essays connect very specifically to some of the scholarships that we’ll apply to as a class in January and February.  By getting them written now we will have time to edit them, and you can consider using them in other applications for schools or scholarships.


 Write Scholarship Essay 3: UA Activities Scholarship

 Write Scholarship Essay 4: UA Individual Scholarship

 Have Mr. Benshoof edit your essays!

EDD Unit 5 Map
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