Students in upper elementary/early middle school follow the engineering design process to brainstorm and build prototype sneakers from a variety of materials to meet such design requirements as good traction or deep cushioning. They learn how the sole provides support, cushioning, and traction. There also may be some fashion-based functions, including cool colors or added height.
Could origami engineering be the next big thing in manufacturing? Researchers say that the Japanese art of folding paper could have practical implications ranging from minimally invasive surgical aids to highly efficient capture of solar energy and giant space telescopes that fit into a small payload. And their work has evolved into a well-funded fount of innovation.