kids & the design process

There are a couple of things that I would like to know from the kids about their interests and point of view. What is the best way to get answers to these questions? How can I / we get this information?

Q: What are their interests that can be a starting point for understanding what engineering is? Some are easy – You have kids that are into cart racing and dirt bikes. But what about some other the other kids who would be great engineers if it was linked to something that interested them?

Q: For girls especially, would kids identify with the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering and be interested in solving any of these?

Q:  Can their interests be leveraged to reverse engineering a whole thing or component parts to work through the Engineering Design Process (5 step version) for the object, structure, system, instrument, tool, …?

Q: To what extent would the kids understand that there is “engineering” involved? How can that be brought into the thinking about designing something tangible?

Q: I created a Google doc form to gather information about each step of the 5 step Engineering Design Process – actually only 4 steps because plan and create seem to be indistinguishable for middlers. Could the kids fill this out for something that interests them – either something that exists or something that is a solution to a problem that interests them? Who would / could want to do this? What needs to be in place in preparation?