Thursday, November 17, 2011

Creativity Unbound - The Engineering Design Process

The classes are all well underway on creating their design solutions. For some, they are finding it difficult to stick to their original designs from their technical drawings in their journals. I can see them trying to modify their designs as they build/create. While other groups are moving along smoothly, just as they planned. One thing is certain, though, all the students are really enjoying being creative and building with their hands. I've pulled an AV cart off to the side of the room filled with crafting materials that the students are able to "shop" from for their projects. The students must show me their materials list and use this list to go "shopping" for their supplies. Some groups are even telling me, "but you didn't tell us you had all of THIS STUFF!" which makes their materials selection process a little more difficult.

I'm so impressed and inspired by their creativity and ingenuity with some of the items they are coming up with from simple items blinding drawn from a bag. We have floppy discs turned into notepads and Christmas ornaments, plastic Easter eggs turned into furry legged spiders and shiny tin foil wrapped sharks, and plastic spoons turned into watering stations for birds, sailboats, and eye patches.

Using a scrapbooking paper cutter to easily cut stripe for the flag.
One of the classes had all of the teams that all drew straws, literally, (each group ended up with a straw) and almost all of the groups in this class has decided upon making flags. The amusing part is how they all have to salute the flags each week as they start to work on them, and by salute, I mean, say the "pledge of Allegiance" to the flags. The other group in this class decided to take a different route for their straw, and is working on creating a letter using pipe cleaners for the base shape, then stringing cut up pieces of the straw to form the letter.
Stringing straw pieces together to form the letter "P".

One group that I am curious to see how their project turns out is a group working together to create a rocket out of a floppy disk. I've seen their blueprints (technical drawings) but am unable to visualize it as a finished product. Another thing that intrigues me is that they require very few materials besides the original floppy diskette they started with. In fact, they have taken their disk apart to create their rocket. Will have to keep my eye on them - this should be interesting to see in the next few weeks as their plan comes together. However, they seem to have a clear vision of where they are going and are working together seamlessly.
From floppy diskette to rocket, we have a plan!


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