D & T Resource of the week 8

Sustainable Design Tasks

Resources: Design Technology/Secondary/KS4/Graphics

A topic which is becoming ever more relevant for staff delivering Product Design, Resistant Materials or in this case Graphic Products. The project is made up of a series of four tasks aimed squarely at tackling the issues surrounding sustainability. Simply presented and laid out in a logical fashion, it provides an overview of this most pressing of issues and fits in with the demands of most exam boards. The author considers this topic in a number of ways, including the effects of our consumption in relation to people living in the third world, generally challenging our perceptions.

  • The piece is particularly useful for both KS3 and KS4 Graphic Products and Product Design students. It would no doubt function well, with the students working in small design groups. All activities are designed to be completed within one hour.
  • What is it? - This resource is presented via a simple PowerPoint of 25 slides. The resource has been downloaded some 3200 times and viewed nearly 6000, so is proving a very popular and obviously useful piece. We start with an initial introduction to the task, the objectives for the project if you like. Focus is on the potential effects of our designs on the environment, those products with a positive effect but also looks at a question very close to my own heart and something I believe very strongly in; products that people want to keep and treasure. Why is it that society hold products like the Toyota Prius in such high regard, when it is so obviously designed not be treasured, simply used, recycled and used again. The PowerPoint moves toward a series of thought provoking images with associated questions, belief circles, the 6 R’s of sustainability and then onto the actual student tasks. Chief among which is, “make me car free” followed by a task to design and make a bridge from a most unlikely material. The next topic sets sustainable packaging as its focus and finishes with inspirational products and objects.
  • How could it be used? - As yet I have not had the opportunity to run this particular project but can see quite clearly its appeal and how it could be best placed within the structure of a department. This resource is a lot more useful than it may at first appear with its basic presentation leading you to believe otherwise. The unit could be used as a stand alone topic. With this in mind, no extra research would be necessary from staff intending to deliver it. As stated it is pretty logical and as a result works step by step but with supplied objectives for each task which are clearly displayed and would be ideal in an observation type scenario. Furthermore the resource could be linked or combined with your present KS3 scheme of work and would ideally be suited to year 9 classes. However its best application would be with KS4 GCSE students, this topic of sustainability is a given with just about all exam boards and the issues surrounding it are omnipresent in most exam board’s research or preparation material. You would not necessarily employ the entire unit with KS4 students but instead supplement their revision with those elements most relevant to the exam specification you are following.
  • How have you used this resource? - As stated I have not yet had the opportunity to use this scheme of work but I will be introducing it to my KS4 GCSE groups just before taking their Graphic Products and Resistant Materials exams. I will in this case discount the bridge building tasks along with the “make me car free” activities and instead focus on the 6 R’s of sustainability. In doing so this PowerPoint will save me precious preparation time and will mean less explanation from myself and more key facts being given to the students. I also have an exam coming up for my Product Design A level groups and may extend further the “make me car free” activity in line with their study of the Smart Car fourtwo . They have to have an example or case study of a product that is eco friendly or sustainable but I think extending the task further would afford them the opportunity to consider and present other alternatives to the so called environmentally friendly solution.
  • We may well finish our key stage 3 modules ahead of schedule this term and I would be happy to keep this project in the background and let the students try out a couple of the tasks that would be fun and educational.
  • Uploaded by cjcort

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