Both scientists and engineers contribute to the world of knowledge, but because scientists and engineers have different goals, they follow different processes. Scientists study how nature works and use the scientific method as a framework for performing experiments. To test whether an observation is true, they ask questions and develop experiments to try and answer that question. Alternatively, engineers create, build, and find solutions to problems using the creativity-based engineering design process. An engineer identifies a specific need and then creates a solution.
So which process should you use? If your project involves making observations and doing experiments, you should follow the scientific method. If you are designing or building something, you should utilize the engineering design process. But what if it is difficult to distinguish between the two? If your project is in the gray area, here’s how the two different methods stack up against each other:
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