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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.

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