Design Challenge: DIY Chicken Feeder & Waterer

In this design challenge: DIY chicken feeder & waterer, three teams of students are presented a problem to the students to solve. How can we use these four items to create a makeshift feeder or waterer for chickens? It must be cheap and cost effective and can be deployed quickly and easily.

Some of the design constraints are that the system must be easily constructed and deconstructed. It must be easily washed, sanitized, and reused. It must not crack or leak.

The Problem:

We have hungry chicks and ducklings that must be fed, but they also make a real mess and then that feed starts to ferment and smell. How can we use the materials given to create a poultry feeder?


  • A simple sugar or coffee plastic container with a screw top lid
  • A carpet knife (BE CAREFUL! Knives are sharp!)
  • A set of sharpie markers for drawing cut lines
  • Plastic screws
  • A plastic tray


  • When we approach a problem like this, we must first brainstorm and think about all the ways we could solve this problem.
  • Then looking at what we have, and how we must use them, we research other solutions. Then we design and build it!
  • Since we KNOW what the problem is, we can better think of how to combine these materials to deliver the desired outcomes.

The Pivot

After it is built, each team must give their solution to another team to allow them to review, test, and analyze the design challenge. Then the design is passed to the next team to improve on and modify the first team’s design. What will they change?

Using The Design Cycle

When all the Design Cycle is complete, we share out the design. Does it work well? Even with water?

The Design Cycle

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