Irrigation System using Alternative Energy (ISAE)



Students come up with a creative solution for an everyday design challenge.


Students work in teams using the engineering design process to brainstorm, design, build and test a model of an irrigation system using alternative energy.


Cardstock, pipe cleaners, masking tape, corrugated plastic sheets, tacky glue, brass fasteners, paper clips, cardboard tubes, markers, and other recycled materials.


1.  Introduce the design challenge.

"Design a system to water plants using rainwater and greywater.   Your constraint is you can only use alternative energy."

  1. Brainstorm solutions
  • What are possible solutions to that challenge?
  • Using sticky notes and easel paper, brainstorm ideas in your team and 
  • Sketch a blueprint
  • Choose your best idea


3.  Plan

Show students the materials available, and ask them to plan their design.


4.  Create and Improve

Students follow their plan to design, build and test their watering system.

Students think about modifications that are needed and continuously improve their model.

5.  Share

Students present their solution.

What is the name of your project?

What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

How did you work like and engineer?


Additional Resources

Engineering is Elementary | Engineering Design Process

Article about Brainstorming

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