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.
Teams of middle school students use the engineering design process to design, build, and test a pair of wearable platform or high-heeled shoes, taking into consideration the stress and strain on the wearer’s foot. They activity concludes with a “walk-off” to test the shoe designs and discuss the design process.