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Getting Started Select Design Task Learn About Design
MOVIE 1:   1 minute 58 seconds
Designing Your Cardboard Chair Lesson

In designing your Cardboard Chair lesson plan, your probably won't get very far without doing the activity yourself. Just as students need to become familiar with the materials they are designing with or the product they are redesigning you'll need hands-on experience with chairs and cardboard as a building material bags before designing your lessons. MOVIE 1 shows a short safety lecture given to tech ed students on using a utility knife. Let your knowledge of your students guide whether you want them to use this tool in your classes.

Cardboard Chair is mainly a tech ed activity, since it deals with topics like structures, the aesthetics of form and the ergonomics of seating that do not appear in most science or math learning objectives. Other topics do fit into math and science, including topics like scaling, center-of-mass, and stability, and other learning objectives like working in groups, doing effective time management, and putting together a final presentation.

For the tech ed teacher, you need to look at what connections you can make from Cardboard Chair to your course objectives. The design process can be emphasized, especially the early brainstorming where students generate a host of chair ideas, and then begin to winnow down to a few promising candidates for full-scale production. The early lessons that Goldman has students do aims to build the foundation for good design decisions. Enough time should be allowed for students to plan and practice their final presentations, and of course, for students to produce a free-standing chair that can hold a person sitting and leaning back in the chair.

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