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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Week One in the SHS Design Lab

Welcome to the SHS Design Lab blog. Check back regularly for updates on projects and developments pertaining to the new STEAM program. While we wait for the Design Lab to be completed, we are beginning the program in a re-purposed physics lab. We believe that it is important to start the program while the space is being built, giving current students a chance to grow the mindset and skills needed to be successful as they go off to college and careers. That said, the physics lab is smaller and the tools are limited, so projects will be adapted to fit those constraints. When we have the new state-of-the-art lab, students will be able to build their ideas to a higher resolution and projects can be physically larger.

 Week one was hectic but great. Students in Introduction to Design and Fabrication completed the Marshmallow Challenge. Students in Introduction to Engineering created a machine to fling a cotton ball as far as possible. Students were engaged, collaborating with their teams and working within constraints. For both challenges, there is a kit supplied to students and they can only use those materials to create and there is no "right" way to do it. Click here to see a short video of class in progress.