Problem Definition: Thermal Runaway

This resources includes 2 files:

Problem-Definition-2-Pager-Student (pdf, 158 KB)

With this worksheet, students fill in the blanks as a team to brainstorm and develop a problem definition for thermal runaway that can kick off the engineering design process.

Thermal Runaway Problem Definition Educator Guide (pdf, 217 KB)

This educator guide provides teachers with additional context and support for the problem definition student activity.


In the Science of Thermal Runaway pathway, students learn about specific risks that could cause a lithium-ion battery to enter thermal runaway. They can use their understandings of those risks to write a complete problem statement about the engineering challenge of designing safe battery enclosures and devices. Students can do this at the end of the pathway to lead into the engineering design challenge. There are also prompts at the end of each driving question in the pathway to support students in this task.

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