ReMA Recycling Collection | Grades K-12    >   Community Challenge - Design for Recycling®

Technical Brief: Design for Recycling®

Reflect on your process and describe the specifics of your solution.

Activity Title:

Technical Brief: Design for Recycling®


Students reflect on their process and describe the specifics of their solutions

Target Grade Level: 

Grades 3-12

Discipline or Course (Audience): 

any course

Time Frame: 

Introducing the Resource: 20-30 minutes

Using the Resource: Varying times frames throughout the challenge as students re-engage with Technical Brief

Suggested Grouping: 

Small groups or whole class

Key Vocabulary:

Composite figure, volume formula of cylinders & cones, 2-D and 3-D objects/models, cross-sectional area, rotations

Educator Prep: 

The Technical Brief, or “Tech Brief,” gives students the opportunity to reflect on the design process and their solutions. It is also a chance for the students to explain their solutions in greater detail to their peers, community members, and their teacher. As such, it can be completed along the way or after the final pitch and provides you with the opportunity for small group instruction as needed. Some of the questions ask students to identify strengths they noticed and challenges they overcame along the way, so you might want to encourage students to be thinking about these items as they are working on their solution.

Adaptations for Younger Students (K-5)

Feel free to remove content from the Technical Brief or Technical Brief Rubric.  It is very easy to copy the content from the webpage and paste it into a google document or word document and edit it.  The Technical Brief provides an opportunity to practice their expository writing skills. 





Depending on when you decide to introduce the Tech Brief, you might consider starting this introduction by thinking about their pitch. Are they going to be able to include all of the information about their product in the pitch? No. Are they going to describe the process of developing their product in the pitch? Not entirely. Once students come to this realization, you can introduce the Tech Brief.

Delivering a great pitch is an important step in convincing community partners to support your solution, but while an effective pitch can get the attention of your community, it takes more to get them to invest in your solution. Before committing, community members need to have confidence that you have done your research and that you can explain what your solution is and how it works. The Technical Brief is your opportunity to show your community how much work you have done.

Design for Recycling® Solution

Use words and images to provide documentation of your final solution and its components using Article - Technical Brief Rubric: Design for Recycling® as a guide. Be sure to include rationale and evidence of how Design for Recycling principles were addressed for each of the following areas:

  • Customer satisfaction
    • Function
    • Cost
    • Sustainability
  • Specifications
    • Materials
    • Models
    • Packaging
  • Sustainability
    • Recyclability
    • Supply Chain
    • Environmental Impact
  • Reflections
    • Opportunities for Innovation
    • Research
    • Design Process Students are often unaware of the many ways in which their solutions evolved over the course of the competition. Encourage them to think about what their initial design looked like during the brainstorming phase and what their final product looks like now. What is different? Likely something! Why did they make the changes that they did?