Financial and Material Management in the Design Rubric

I’m just interested in other folks experiences and opinions. The Judges guide mentions financial management and the Design Rubric talks about “management of material resources” . Anyone have examples of how middle school kids are being involved in this?

Although they don’t buy their own parts, if they were doing proper design they could:

  1. identify all the parts and sensors that are required (especially of beyond the standard “superkit” parts, then create a bill of materials (BOM)
  2. inventory their supply to determine if all BOM items are available.
  3. make a request to their mentor/coach to order needed parts
  4. plan in their Gantt chart (or whatever time management system they are using) the time for ordering and receiving the needed parts.

If I saw this in an EN, they would get full points. Heck, most of the time were looking to see if even the most rudimentary schedule is in the EN, much less a Gantt chart.


I struggle with this because most programs aren’t starting from scratch and are using equipment that was purchased in prior years. So planning out a season long budget is difficult to include in the EN. Another way to demonstrate knowledge financial management is to provide a bill of materials for the robot that was built. But, like I said, this is something I, personally, struggle with. And sometimes when I see students attempt to demonstrate this is their ENs, it seems contrived.


Having worked on lots of projects, the BOM is about the most important document there is. This is a great life-skill for engineers to be learning, too.


Thanks all for the feedback. I agree the BOM is important and will start looking to teach that. SnapCAD does produce one but learning how to produce their own is helpful and middle school kids should be capable.

I started teaching the Gantt Chart/Waterfall this year. I was surprised but they got it really easily (more quickly than some adult project team members I’ve encountered :wink: ) They start the practice by looking at the plan and seeing what they are supposed to be working on and get to it. I think they like coloring in the blocks too :slight_smile:


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