Year 7 Designers and Engineers have had a busy year of making in Design and Technology. The projects they have undertaken have tested their designing and making skills (Puzzle project) as well as their ability to address practical problems (Note holder project), and also the use of workshop tools and machinery. The quality of the work has been excellent and students ended the task with an appreciation of quality and precision.
Image: desk tidy, note holder and puzzle
Year 8 were up against the clock, and were challenged to design a timepiece inspired by a subject they studied at school. The outcomes were very diverse and showed a great deal of creativity and transferable skills, applying Mathematical skills toward their geometric designs. The project focused on accuracy and engineering and included the housing of a clock mechanism.
The ‘Steady Hand Game’ involved the building of a simple circuit and introduced them to the shaping of acrylic using the strip heater. The storage box project involved the shaping of a curved lid and then the mounting of hinges. These projects required careful planning and the development of a range of practical skills.
Image: Clock and steady hand
Year 9 Engineers took on the challenge of bridge and crane building, exploring how to retain strength and rigidity through the use of building framed structures. Techniques such as the use of struts and ties and triangulation were introduced and gusset plates were used to mimic the designs of professional engineers. Students used creative and critical thinking to assess structural failure as designs were tested to breaking point.
Building an automaton is a real test of engineering and requires careful research and a knowledge of mechanisms. The use of cams, gearing, levers and linkages, alongside linear, reciprocating, rotary and oscillating lifts and motion and can offer a wide complexity of design opportunities stretching even the most able of students.
Image: Bridge, crane and automaton
Year 10 began the year developing their model making skills. The model they were asked to make was very complex and demanded a great deal of patience and dexterity. With these skills in hand they then attempted the mechanical toy project which built their manufacturing skills. The students have employed numerous techniques to express their design ideas and have been introduced to orthographic and isometric drawing methods. Their chessboard project has improved their knowledge of electronic systems and control.
Image: model car, toy and chess board
YEAR 11 and 13
With the coursework element of the IGCSE and A Level course complete, I wish all the Year 11 and 13 students Design Technology Students well with their examinations and future pathways. They have endeavoured through a most difficult period and must be admired for the commitment and dedication to their studies. I very much enjoyed being their teacher and assisting them in their coursework studies.