Other Design Tasks
Space and budget do not allow for more than a brief introduction to the growing legion of design activities that curriculum designers and teachers have proposed and tested in recent years. Here are some:
- Vehicles in Motion In this Learning By Design activity, students investigate, test and combine propulsion systems for a model car that must climb 2 test hills and travel as far as possible beyond them. (LBD™ 4-8 weeks)
- Pop-Up Book Ed Goldman of Brooklyn Tech designed this unit that introduces students to paper engineering and has them produce a book using a number of pop-up book elements for student-made presentations at a "pop-up book trade show". (5-9 weeks)
- Model Quilts Rich Lehrer (Vanderbilt) describes the kind of math learning that students were able to achieve when designing quilts using paper or the computer.
- Clay Boat See how students can take a classic scientific investigation and turn it into a very short design activity. Students are provided with a given amount of clay, and asked to create a floatation system that can stay above water and hold the greatest number of metal washers as a Load. (1.5-3 days)
- Parade Float This activity has UK tech ed students building a wooden model of a parade float that advertises a student-selected product and employs a cam in its drivetrain. (Nuffield Design & Technology 5-10 weeks)
- Warm Gloves Read and print out an article from TERC's Hands On! series that describes an activity that has students designing gloves while studying heat and thermal energy.