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.