D&T Teachers just wanna have fun

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“Well, thank goodness the long, dreary summer holidays are finally over and us D&T teachers can at last get back into our workshops and prepare for another term of fun making things. Perhaps I’d better just have a quick look at the new D&T National curriculum we’re supposed to start following. Now, let’s see, Yes, all the usual cutting, hitting, measuring, bending and gluing things, no change there then. Hmm. What’s this ‘Biomimicry’ I wonder?. And building robots could be good. Wait, this looks more interesting: ‘such as 3D printing’? That sounds more fun. Note to self: drop by the Head’s office to tell him we absolutely must have one of these 3D printers or Ofsted will turn us into an Academy.

Right, next I suppose I had better completely re-write the department’s schemes of work. It’s hard work being Head of D&T – it’s not all about having fun, you know.

Ten minutes later…

Bash Street D&T Department: New National Curriculum Scheme of Work

Year 7

The Brief: A cereal manufacturer want to include a free gift inside every box of cereal it sells. They have asked you to come up with ideas for an imaginative toy or gift.

The toy or gift can be made in any size, material and colour you like provided it is no bigger than 10 cms in any direction (the largest size our 3D printer can manage), is made of plastic and is bright green (the only colour we have).

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Year 8

The Brief:  A local toy shop has asked you to develop a design for a new children’s toy that it would like to be able to make and sell. They would like it to be based on the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films.

The toy can be made any in any shape, size or material, providing it is no more than 10 cms in any direction and can be made from green plastic using our new 3D printing machine….

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Year 9 – Sustainable Biomimicry

The Brief:  Find out what the term Biomimicary means and explain it to your teacher in a way he or she will be able to easily understand.  A local charity has asked you to develop a design for a plastic duck to promote awareness of nature conservation and eco-sustainability. The duck should incorporate an electronic circuit to make the eyes flash on and off. Work together as team to make as many as possible.

The duck can be made any in any shape, size or material, providing it is no more than 10 cms in any direction, looks like a duck and can be made from green plastic using the department’s new 3D printing machine….

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Year 10  GCSE Projects

The Brief:  Robot Wars. Collaboratively work together as a team to design and build a robot capable of completely destroying all the other robots made by your class.
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Supporting Project: Values in D&T.  Developments in Technology tend to be driven by the need for military supremacy in defence and attack situations. Discuss the contribution your robotic device could make to World Peace and the end of human suffering.

Year 11  GCSE Projects

Project 1. Disassembly/circular economy activity

The Brief: Carefully take apart the department’s 3D printer to analyse how it could be manufactured more successfully in order to ensure all the parts can be re-used.

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Project 2. MIni-enterprise / Entrepreneurship

The Brief: The D&T department urgently needs to raise money to buy a new 3D printer as it can’t work out how to fit the previous one back together again. Work together as a team to design and develop a range of aesthetically pleasing artefacts that could be quickly and profitably sold.

But of course the potential of 3D printing is enormous, as are the issues. The challenge now is how to plan D&T lessons that provide real opportunities for students to learn how to design for 3D printing. Pressing the button is one thing  – creating 3D products that are practical, easy and satisfying to use is another.

What? Oh and you think I should read this article?

The Future of Industrial Design http://artworks.arts.gov/?p=17624

Hmm. It says that making products is out of date now and we should be concentrating on designing systems and interactive software? Well, that doesn’t sound like much fun now does it?

Image credits:

(Top) Keith Kissel http://www.flickr.com/photos/kakissel/6165114664

(Second from bottom) Alex Healing http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexhealing/3383397914

(Bottom) Eldoreth  http://www.flickr.com/photos/eldoreth/6618835125

One comment on “D&T Teachers just wanna have fun

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