Unit Overview

Engineering for Good is a three-week, project-based learning unit for middle school science classrooms focused on developing solutions for negative impacts of plastics on the environment. In these NGSS-aligned lessons, students use the engineering design process to define a problem, brainstorm solutions, develop prototypes and iterate on their designs. The project culminates with students producing videos about their solutions to share with the community.

Unit Objectives

The Engineering for Good Unit Outline contains a list of the 10 lessons and their objectives.



We are incredibly grateful to the following educators for offering their expertise, and for providing valuable input and feedback during the development of Engineering for Good.

Curriculum and Resource Advisors

Kaki McLachlan, Maria Laws, Stephen Unterholzner, Alyssa Morgan and Amy Herr.

Pilot Teachers

Cyatharine Alias, Geoff Borroughs, Elizabeth Brooking, Sherry Burch, Elisha Burns, Cheryl Chase, Sarah DeMatteo, Annette Dobler, Shaw’sae Dodson, Danette Dresel, Lisa Ernst, Kristina Everhardt, Max Gardner, Kimberly Gray, Deborah Grima-Lowe, Alison Guernsey, Charles Lee, Kristy, Love, Geetha Manjunath, Larry McMullen, Myesha Mebane, Cynthia Mitchell, Rebecca Newburn, Tori Ridosh, Julia Shotwell and Erika So.

Lesson Plans

  • Students will compare the process they use during an in-class challenge to the steps of the engineering design process.
  • Students will create an infographic based on what they learn about how we use plastics and how they impact our environment.
  • Students will define and refine the problem--related to effects of plastic on the environment--that they investigated when making their infographics.
  • Students will identify the criteria and constraints of the solution for their design problem by considering scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the environment.
  • Students will brainstorm possible solutions for their plastic problem and select the most promising one.
  • Students will develop a prototype of their solution.
  • Students will describe how they would test their prototypes and what type of data they would be generating from their tests.
  • Students will give feedback on other student groups’ designs.
  • Students will plan, write and produce a one-minute video or digital story or narrated slideshow to communicate their solution.
  • Students will participate in peer feedback.
  • Students will publish a one-minute video of their engineering solution.
  • Students will participate in self-evaluation.