Scientific Method versus Engineering Design

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Feb 24, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an interesting thought - though students are taught the scientific method, they learn rather less of the methodology of the other half of STEM - engineering and design. This video suggests "a new way to introduce engineering into the K-12 curriculum by exploring the distinctions between science and engineering; between the natural world and the designed world; and between the scientific method and the engineering design process." From another perspective, it's interesting that in my experience a great deal of discord occurs when managers attempt to employ scientists as though they were engineers. "The Scientific Process involves exploring the unknown to come up with correct answers.... 'So where does an engineer start?' he asks. 'An engineer starts in an entirely different place. An engineer starts with a societal need. Absent a societal need, an engineer has nothing to do.' A scientist, on the other hand, can live in the natural world, exploring, without being expected to create new systems or solve societal needs." Interesting. A useful distinction.
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