Tuesday, December 13, 2016

SHS students visit Princeton University's Tiger Challenge

Last Saturday, eleven students from Design and Fabrication, City 2.0 and Psychology traveled to Princeton University to work with undergraduates participating in the Tiger Challenge. Princeton students are using the design process to work through real world problems and find solutions. For three hours, students worked together to craft interview guides and questions and then interview one another. The two challenges that Princeton students are tackling this year are stress in K-12 schools and the shortage of qualified teachers. As the Princeton program was at the beginning of the design process, they interviewed our students about stress in their lives as well as their attitude towards the teaching profession. Our students also got to practice their interviewing skills, as college students remembered back to their high school days. Scarsdale students were excited about the immersive experience, saying that they learned about asking questions, going deeper, and pulling out insights. All good designs begin with interesting problems. And without thoroughly understanding the people behind the problems, it is difficult to find valid solutions. Our students enjoyed their deep dive into empathy interviews and we are hoping to offer this opportunity to more SHS students in the coming months.are excited to use these design skills in the problems they are tackling in their classes here.  





Sunday, November 20, 2016

Scarsdale STEAM Day and the Giant Chain Reaction

Before the students arrived.
Yesterday, at Scarsdale Middle School, Design Lab teachers assisted by sophomore Kylie McRobie, worked with Middle and Elementary Students to create a giant chain reaction. For three hours, students (and parents) worked to build sections of the chain reaction and then link the sections together. At 2 PM, the crowd gathered to watch the golf ball drop and set off the contraption. See the video of it here
Sophomore Kylie McRobie works on connecting the sections
D Lab teacher Brian McDonald counts down to launch.

Students Solving Problems in Their Own World

In the past few weeks, Design and Fabrication students have been working in teams identifying problems they can solve for one another. Diving deep into empathy, they have been learning to find the underlying stories behind their needs. Teams are looking for the deeper needs, so they can create solutions for problems that are thoughtful and empathic. 

In Introduction to Engineering,  students are learning the fundamentals of 3-D modeling using a program called Fusion 360.

Fusion 360 is a professional program that allows students to transform their ideas into virtual creations. After crafting a design, students can 3D print their creations and turn their digital models into fully functional prototypes!
Students are currently working on tutorials that lead them through different tools and features of the program. Starting by creating a LEGO brick, they follow and problem solve through a step-by-step guide in an effort to master the basic tools of the program.
In the upcoming weeks students will be moving into our 3D Modeling challenge. Students will begin by choosing a problem they want to solve from a list of challenges or create their own problem to solve. They will then put their skills to the test by designing and creating their own tool or product that solves their problem. Students will have the option to even 3D print their designs and take them home

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Prototyping in Design and Fabrication

This week, students in Introduction to Design and Fabrication created quick, rough prototypes of liquid containers for their specific user. Using craft supplies like duct tape, paper cups, straws and hot glue, students constructed prototypes to use as they pitched their ideas to the class. Students were engaged in the activity, as they "built to learn," one of the basic principles of Design Thinking. By constructing an object, they make their ideas real and learn what works and what doesn't. They also then have an object for others to respond to as they talk about how it solves their user's needs. See the photos below for the process of prototyping and some of the quick, rough prototypes. And click these link link link links  to see videos of the build!












Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Introduction to Design and Fabrication: Brainstorming!


 This week in Introduction to Design and Fabrication, students learned about brainstorming rules: defer judgement, go for quantity, 'headline' your ideas, encourage wild ideas, stay focused, build on the ideas of others, and be visual. They did some warm up improvisation exercises, including 30 circles, which asked students to transform 30 circles into recognizable objects in three minutes, to get their creative juices flowing. And then they brainstormed. They were brainstorming ideas to create better liquid containers for their user based on their user's needs.


 Once they had written some ideas on post-its individually, they shared with their team with a "Yes, and..." mindset, adding ideas and building on one another's ideas. Next step is to organize their ideas and select some to prototype.


Thursday, October 6, 2016


We have a short week, so students are continuing to work on projects. In Introduction to Design and Fabrication, students continue to work on their user profiles, enlarging them and filling out the details. 







In Introduction to Engineering, students continued work on their exploded assemblies of objects chosen for the take-apart assignment. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

More Projects in Introduction to Design and Fabrication and Engineering

This week in the Design Lab, Intro to Design and Fabrication students began looking closely at "something that holds liquid." Students brought in an object and looked closely at it. They drew it in their engineering notebooks and then identified all its parts. They wondered about the purpose of each part and how they all worked together. Then they imagined who might use it: the user, and spelled out the needs of that user. So, for instance, a perfume spray bottle would not be used by anyone, but most likely by a woman between the ages of 12-65 and the type of bottle and information on it helped them narrow down the age group. A perfume bottle should not be used by a young child, as they wouldn't understand how the spray mechanism worked and where to spray the liquid.



In Intro to Engineering, students completed a slide for life challenge, in which students used limited materials to construct a carrier to slide a ping pong ball to safety along a string. 
Students also began a take a take-apart project in Intro to Engineering, in which students disassemble their object and will create an exploded diagram of the parts.

Monday, September 19, 2016

SHS D Lab: Week Two

Week Two in the Design Lab was full of activities as students learned about the Design Thinking/Engineering process through hands-on activities. In Introduction to Engineering, students reflected on the process they used to create their "flinger"--the device they created to fling a cotton ball as far as possible. In Introduction to Design and Fabrication, students created five different versions of a chair for a specific user. Working in groups, students defined their user's needs and created problem statements. Then, in one class period, they made five different iterations of the chair with vastly different materials in a short period of time. See photographs of the process below. They learned the value of rapid prototyping and then reflected on how materials controlled their design.