Designer vs. Maker

Designer vs. Maker

The growth of factories and mass production allowed companies to separate the design of products from their manufacture. It became easier to produce goods that were affordable for many people. At the same time, separating design from manufacturing can cause some problems. In this activity, you will explore some of the differences between craft-based design and mass production.
Download a Printer-Friendly PDF
Tilt Sensor

Tilt Sensor

From Bots!

Make a simple tilt sensor with LED lights that indicate which way it's leaning.

Draw Your Own Cartoon

Draw Your Own Cartoon

From Crazy Contraptions

Start your creative juices flowing by drawing your own cartoon.

Design a Space Robot

Design a Space Robot

From Robotics!

Think of what planet you would like to explore and design a robot based on the planet you chose.

Design a Poll

Design a Poll

From Big Data

Often, data is collected using a poll or survey. A poll or survey asks questions about people’s opinion on a topic. In this activity, you will design and conduct your own poll.



CLEAR Review (Clermont County Public Library)
Recommended. Written in a conversational style, Industrial Design introduces its subject through examples such as the iPod, the electric light, Thonet’s chair, the VHS/Betamax showdown, and the toilet. . . Intended for ages ten through fifteen, Industrial design provides excellent science fair ideas and material, though it would also be useful for the STEM educator.” Click here to read the complete review. 

Wayne Chung, associate professor, Carnegie Mellon University School of Design
“It is great to see this book create awareness and interest in the field of industrial design. By introducing the design process and including reflection questions and relevant activities, the reader can start changing their own world and start seeing themselves as future industrial designers.”

Constantin Boym, chair of industrial design, Pratt Institute
“In this book, Carla Mooney neatly packages the entire field of industrial design, including design history, methodology, and—most importantly—the impact of design on society. This book is meant to excite and inspire and will help send a new, better-informed cohort of American kids to design colleges.”

Bruce M. Hanington, director of graduate studies, Carnegie Mellon University School of Design
“This is a wonderful resource for children and adults alike, providing a condensed yet comprehensive overview of industrial design in an accessible format, interspersed with activities and resources. I’m so glad this book exists, to promote industrial design to curious and creative young minds, and inspire them to learn about and create the world of products we all live with but tend to take for granted every day!”

Detailed Book Description

What is industrial design? Why do microwaves open with a swinging front door? Why aren't smartphones round?

In Industrial Design: Why Smartphones Aren't Round and Other Mysteries with Science Activities for Kids, readers ages 10–15 engage in and learn about the engineering design process from its earliest beginnings, when individuals designed and crafted their own tools, to today, when engineers work to find the best design for products that are then manufactured in bulk by automated machines. Engineers consider the user experience of every product they design to ensure that users have the best experience possible. Good design combines the right materials, colors, details, and form to make a person want to buy and use a product. A well-designed product is easy to use and does what it is meant to do!

Throughout Industrial Design, inquiry-based activities, essential questions, links to online primary sources, and an extensive engineering glossary all serve to highlight the importance and beauty of engineering design and the role it plays in our world.


Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Maps | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Engineering & Technology



What Is Industrial Design?

Chapter 1
From Craftsmanship to Mass Production

Chapter 2
The Design Process

Chapter 3
How Industrial Design Has Changed the World

Chapter 4
Industrial Design and Electronics

Chapter 5
Computer-Aided Design

Chapter 6
Changing Needs, Changing Solutions

Metric Conversions Resources
Essential Questions