This is has been a term to remember - or forget - like no other. Still, I am happy with the progress made.
Introducing Design and Manufacture to S3 can be a tricky balancing act. Some pupils expect to be completing a course similar to woodwork or metalwork, with nothing but making activities and can be shocked at the level of knowledge and design-theory that is required. Some pupils love blue-sky design thinking, but are nervous of actually making.
I have experimented with different approaches over the years, but may have struck a winner. I always start with introducing the 'design process' including Briefs, Research and Specifications. This can be somewhat dry and abstract, but I also don't want to go through the full process to design and complex manufacture.
In this simple task, I provide the pupils with a driving-bit for an electric screwdriver. I will introduce the task by asking pupils to drive in a screw using the driving-bit alone. After much struggling, I then have the class research the problem - they lack a suitable handle.
I provide a brief (which you can download from the N5 DM section of the site) and pupils analyse this brief, plan and conduct their research. This includes using calipers to measure the driving bit and simple ergonomic/anthropometric research. After the research, a simple Specification is created.
Usually this is the end of the tale. However, in this instance, I asked pupils to create simple 2D sketches for concepts then quickly take these to 3D CAD. For most, their designs required simple revolved profiles. However, some pupils who also do Graphic Communication were able to complete vastly more complex designs. These models were then 3D printing.
I will probably rant more about 3D printers soon, and how they are sometimes treated as gimmicks in Scottish schools. However, in this case, every pupil printed their model at least once and several actually iterated their designs with subsequent improvements. The class morale was improved; they understood briefs, types of research, specifications and even CAD and 3D printing.
I'm happy with the results above. Let me know what you think.
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