Using the Engineering design process (EDP) to solve real-world problems

The engineering design process is an iterative problem-solving methodology that involves identifying problems, collecting information, and making prototypes to come up with the best possible solutions (Frilles, 2015). EDP can be applied to many different fields and can be used in the classroom by students to try new ways of solving problems. The EDP includes several steps; defining the problem, brainstorming and visualizing solutions, prototyping, testing, and refining solutions until it is implementable (Frilles, 2015). I wanted to explore whether students can use the engineering design process to solve real-world problems and whether technology can help students with the EDP.

In a 2018 study by Siewe, students participated in a project-based learning activity where they used the engineering design process to address a renewable energy problem. Researchers discovered that the students could come up with workable ideas and solutions by just following through with the engineering design process. Also, the result showed that students strengthened their cooperation, communication, and critical thinking skills using the EDP.

There is evidence that technology can enhance the engineering design process. When students were given access to a computer-aided design (CAD) tool to help them design wind turbine blades, students improved their ability to design a functional solution. The CAD tool helped the students collaborate and communicate their ideas more efficiently (Achuthan, 2018). In a study by Dikmen, students were given a water conservation problem and access to online data and resources to help them refine the solution. Access to relevant information and resources helped them with decision-making (Dikmen, 2019).

In another study, students were given a project where they had to design roller coasters. Students had access to a virtual roller coaster simulator, which allowed them to test their designs and make adjustments. Technology allowed students to engage in virtual simulations and experiments before building prototypes. The study showed that students could design effective models (Lee, 2019).

These findings suggest that the engineering design process is a valuable tool for students in solving real-world problems, and technology can help students with EDP. The engineering design process helps students develop critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. This concept of designing the solution helps students practice critical thinking and reasoning, and even when their designs fail, they can still learn from their failures to refine solutions. The engineering design process with technology can help students develop the skills and knowledge they can apply to solve real-world problems and become innovative designers as defined by ISTE; Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.


Achuthan, K., Prakash, A., & Goel, S. (2018). Assessing the impact of computer-aided design on engineering design education. International Journal of Engineering Education, 34(1), 155-165.

Dikmen, O., Orhan, A., & Ozkan, E. (2019). A framework for integrating design thinking and engineering design process in education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 29(4), 685-700.

Frilles, E (2015). Solve Real-world Problems Using the Engineering Design Process (Brochure)

Lee, H., Kim, Y., Kim, M., & Kim, J. (2019). Developing a project-based learning model using the engineering design process. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 22(1), 169-180.

Siewe, F., Ngoh, A., & Kimengsi, J. (2018). Project-Based Learning on Renewable Energy: A Case Study. Journal of Education and Practice, 9(18), 108-115.


Detecting and combating bias in news media: Can technology do the job?

These days, students are exposed to ‘too much’ information and expected to be savvy, informed learners without proper preparation or readiness. We cannot ignore the fact that as students go through puberty, they make choices to become who they are, and many of the things they take in from outside while transitioning into adulthood could easily influence them. The bias they are exposed to could shape them in certain ways without them even knowing. I wanted to explore how we detect bias in news media and whether we can use technology tools to combat bias.

According to a posting by FAIR, “Media Literacy Guide: How to Detect Bias in News Media,” a media watch group, in order to detect bias, we must consider many factors such as the source of information, the language used, and the context in which the information is presented. The media outlets could have a particular viewpoint they want to press on, and their way of using ‘language’ could evoke emotions and influence the viewers. Also, bias can be apparent in the headline, through selection and omission, through placement, by photos, captions, and camera angles, through use of names and titles, and bias by choice of words (UW Libraries, 2020). Depending on how the stories are covered and reported, it could change the whole picture. The biased news can be misleading and incorrect. Therefore, it is crucial to practice critical thinking to get the entire story, check multiple sources, and be alert for biased information.

Many studies have been done on using AI to detect media bias. AI and machine learning algorithms can be trained to detect bias by analyzing words, phrases, and even tones. AI can also check the sources of information and how stories were covered. One example of AI being used to detect bias is from the Bipartisan Press website.
“This website is the Bipartisan Press. Founded in 2018, it has developed an AI model for determining the political bias of its own articles and any text you might find on the web. Based on a regression model for machine learning, it’s capable of natural language processing (NLP) and of text classification. And because it has been trained on a large database of articles (pre-categorised according to bias), it can classify texts according to their direction (“left” or “right”) and degree (“minimal” to “extreme”) of bias…. And according to the website’s own research, it can classify the bias of articles to a 96% accuracy, with an average deviation of only 7%. (Chandler, 2020)”

There are also other websites and digital tools available online to combat media bias: NewsGuard is a technology tool that rates the credibility of news. This browser uses AI algorithms to analyze news websites and indicates the credibility and transparency of sources. Media Bias Chart is another website that uses human analysis and machine learning algorithms to categorize news sources based on their political bias and accuracy (Warren, 2023).

To combat media bias, we cannot rely on technology alone. We must equip ourselves to become empowered learners. As stated in ISTE Standards for Learners 1.3 Knowledge Constructor: Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others. 1.3.b Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources. 1.3.d Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions
Students should take charge of their own learning to educate themselves about different types of media bias and how to detect them. They can exercise critical thinking to analyze multiple sources, compare and contrast the views and take actions to hold media organizations accountable for accuracy. We have to do the work. However, we have the technology to finally help us. Learning to use these digital tools available to detect and combat bias is part of being an empowered learner.


Chandler, S. (2020, March 17). This website is using AI to combat political bias. Forbes.

FAIR. (2022, June) Media Literacy Guide: How to Detect Bias in News Media

University of Washington Libraries. (2022, August). Detecting Bias in the News – Savvy Info Consumers.

Warren, J. (2023, Jan. 04). Which information sources can we trust? NewsGuard report highlights some top sites. Chicago Tribune.