The teacher will guide students through the design and engineering process by supporting an environment that allows for trial and error, and celebrates iteration.
The series is designed for 6th – 8th grade students in a class of 30 students or less, and up to 100 students per grade over a 2-week period. This would allow for the mobile lab to engage approximately four different classes each day.
Design Files attachment: Files to print
Step One: Session I Introduction to the Engineering Design Process through a rapid prototyping activity
Needs: “Invention Kits,” Computers, and Inkscape
Introduction and WarmUp Activity: (~45 minutes)
Establishing the Activity (5 minutes)
Empathize (3 minutes)
Identify (2 minutes)
Research (1 minute)
Develop Solutions (5 10 minutes)
Select Solutions (2 minutes)
Prototype (10 minutes)
Test, Communicate, Redesign (10 minutes)
Next, still within your own group, discuss:
Return to your original construction. As a group, discuss:
Inkscape Exploration: (1015 minutes)
At a minimum, provide students with 1015 minutes of a studentcentered investigation of this software. It is recommended to give students extra time to discover the various tools in Inkscape. At the beginning of the next class (Session II), you could begin by providing an additional exploration of the Inkscape. You may also want to encourage students to use this free software at home or on a personal computer with a guardian’s approval.
Closure: Reflection and Sharing (5 minutes)
The conversation will be centralized around the essential skills:
Point out the definition of agility.
Agility is the capacity to be adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances
Turn to a neighbor to reflect on today, and answer points in which you may have experienced agility:
If possible direct kids to moments where a sense of self, others, teamwork, and difficult conversations were seen.
Step Two: Sessions IIV A summary and introduction to Inkscape.
Needs: Computers, and Inkscape
This lesson is designed as an introductory workshop to provide students with a basic understanding of Inkscape. The activity using this vector software will establish a set of skills students can apply to multiple Fab Lab machines including the laser cutter, 3D printer, and vinyl cutter. A series of brief Inkscape tutorial videos that cover all the concepts in this lesson can be found here:
Object Fill and Stroke Options:
Creating Vector Image from Bitmaps:
Wearable Shoelace Device Outline
STEM Careers: Wearable Device Designer
Before students begin work on the computer, it’s important to preface the digital fabrication aspect of these lessons with an introduction into STEM Careers that exist today in 2018 and the career they will begin to explore: Wearable Device Designer.
Below is a list of STEM careers at GE (General Electric) that currently exist and/or are in high demand. These are all careers and job openings that exist today for GE but also major sports franchises like the Boston Celtics.
Ask your students if they have heard of any of these jobs. What does a person in this position do? What part of S.T.E.M. is utilized in each of these roles? You may even ask students what STEM careers are interesting to them?
It’s important students understand that while some may have aspirations of becoming a professional athlete, there are other careers that allow someone to make it into a sports league like the NBA without ever dribbling a basketball.
Once you’re ready to transition from this discussion, inform students that the focus of this lesson is the Wearable Device Designer career. This is a job that doesn’t currently have the same demand as the other career’s listed, please note GE describes this as “industrial job of the future”. Today, exists a gap between these STEM careers and people who have the skills to fulfill the roles necessary to do this work. The skills students will be learning over the next several days of the lesson will introduce them to abilities needed for the Wearable Device Designer career and other careers of the future.
Everyday in the life of a Wearable Device Designer
What tasks would you expect a Wearable Device Designer to accomplish during a typical work day?
Some additional careers related to the Wearable Device Designer are below:
Research, design, develop, or test computer or computerrelated equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computerrelated equipment and components.
Artificial Intelligence Programmer
Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
Research, design, develop, and test operating systemslevel software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. May design embedded systems software. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
Embedded Systems Engineer
Research, design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.
Product Design Manager
Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children’s toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
During a typical day, a Wearable Device Designer would use a vector software to create images or designs for a product. Vector softwares allow designers to create high quality objects without losing detail. In this lesson we will be using a vector software called “Inkscape”. This a free software that Fab Labs all over the world use when creating objects for laser cutting, vinyl cutting, and 3D printing. Today, we are going to begin exploring the Wearable Device Designer career by using Inkscape and learn the basics of this vector software. At the end of this curriculum, students will create multiple wearable designs that keep the wearer’s shoes tied.
Setting up your document
Goal: Share one new skill or feature you added to your shoelace technology with a partner.
Session III: Adding Logos
Select & Save Image
Create vector image
Note: In these next steps, students will take their imported photo (a bitmap file, or raster image) and trace it to create a vector image. A raster image is composed of pixels in static locations, while vector images are made of mathematical paths connected by lines or curves. A vector image is ideal when creating a logo due to its high quality and ability to edit without losing detail.
It is highly recommended your logo fit inside the 1.5 by 0.75 inch rectangle outline of your shoelace device. This means your logo will be no larger than the perimeter of this device.
Goal: Share something you learned with a partner or someone who is asking for help.
Before Session IV, it’s a good idea to collect Inkscape or .svg files from students once they have saved their work either via USB flash drive or email. Once you have their files, prepare them for cutting on the laser cutter and cut either before class or during to allow students to see the process.
Session IV: Group Collaboration
Inform students that the remainder of this project is going to consist of partner/group work. Collaborating and designing at this point in the design process involves a lot of improvisation. The ability to collaborate is both a practiced skill and essential for any career. It’s important to remind students it isn’t always easy to embrace an idea that wasn’t their own. A professional Wearable Device Designer would need to be able to incorporate ideas from other members of their team. In order to prepare students for this collaborative work, everyone can play the following improv game:
Divide the class into groups, three to four works best. Students can remain seated.
The first student, Person A, will make a suggestion to do something together with person B and C (and D). Person B and C will always begin their answers this round with “No, but…” and come up with a reason for not doing or modifying the activity:
A. Let’s go for a swim!
B. No, but we could go for a bike ride.
C. No, but we could fly a kite.
Next, B will make a suggestion to which C and A will respond starting with “No, but…”. Finally, C will make a suggestion while A and B come up with reasons for not doing or modifying the original activity.
In the second part of the exercise, Person A makes a suggestion to do something together with person B and C. B answers “Yes, but…” and comes up with a reason for not doing the activity:
A. Let’s go for a swim!
B. Yes, but I don’t have my bathing suit.
C. Yeah, but only if the weather is nice.
Repeat with Person B and C.
In the third part, Person A again makes a suggestion. This time, B answers with “Yes, and…” and adds to the activity. Person C, in turn, responds positively to the addition, and answers with “Yes, and…” and makes an extra suggestion to support the previous suggestions:
A. Should we go for a swim?
B. Yes, and let’s also go down the water slide.
C. Yes, and I’ll bring snacks!
Repeat with Person B and C.
How did each of these scenarios make you feel?
Have you encountered a time when you have felt this way, in group projects?
How do you think you could redirect a group member who says “no but” or “yes but”?
Do you think you can be more open to new ideas in projects and use “yes and”?
Students will now have an understanding for creating one type of shoelace device in a vector software (ideally they have tested this prototype if cut before class).
Before resuming their work on the computer, ask students to design another device by first sketching it out on paper. Encourage students to design a new device that not only looks different but also functions differently (i.e. multiple holes for weaving shoelaces). Additionally, ask if there are features of the previous shoelace technology they would like to change. Each student should have at least one new sketch before moving to the next step.
Size recommendations for new shoelace devices:
Width ≤ 2.0 inches
Width & Height ≤ 0.5 inches
Height ≤ 1.0 inches
Any holes should be at least 0.125 (1/8th) inches
away from edges of device
Tell students they will choose one design from their group to create in Inkscape. This can be one design the group likes best or a combination of ideas into one design. With a partner (or group of three), ask students to share their designs. Each student should have a sketch of the device they selected before moving to the next step.
Within Inkscape, students should all create the selected device.
Be available and encourage students to use each other as resources as they are building and playing with solutions.
Session V: Tying it All Up
The final day of this project will consist of finalizing student’s designs, redesigns, and exploring future applications.
Test, Communicate, Redesign
Lab/Exploration/Play Time (40+ minutes)
Now it is time to play and complete your process
Be available and encourage kids to use each other as resources as they are building and playing with solutions.
Future applications (optional)
Designing 2D to 3D
For students who have completed both the individual and group devices, you may encourage them to import their .svg design to a 3D CAD software called TinkerCAD. By visiting www.tinkerCAD.com, students may see how an engineer would redesign this device in an added dimension or change their logo/image.
Additionally, you may want to show students the following video produced by GE Additive that quickly and effectively highlights “Additive Manufacturing”, the process used in 3D printing:
In this video, students will see example of GE Additive manufacturing, specifically clips of their nickel and cobalt metal 3D printing machines. To see more of this kind of content, visit www.ge.com/additive.
Share Activity (10+ minutes)
Share with the group what you made, and your engineering process to getting there.
Monitoring: (For teacher to record.)