At the design stage I encountered a few bottlenecks. There was no information about my product idea and I found that the actual production and the expected design was different. I also encountered difficulty with proportion and balance. Fortunately, Mr Bartok helped me organise my thoughts, taught me how to use the equipment and his problem-solving solutions eased my anxiety.
Alice has taken a very unconventional approach to her design which is used for organising cables/electronics and storing books. Her design is based around the tree and it is unlike any other product on the market. It is functional but also looks very beautiful when sitting on a desk.
This is a multi-functional table tennis cabinet which stores equipment smartly enabling easy access. The rackets are stored on both sides and table tennis balls in the middle, when one table tennis ball is removed, the second one will roll down automatically. My previous school did not offer DT, therefore my knowledge on materials and hands-on skills were not high. However, Mr Bartok and Mr Leon always gave me detailed guidance and suggestions for improvement.
This design is very functional and solves a real problem in the table tennis room. It can store 20 different table tennis paddles and all the balls. The balls are displayed nicely in the centre of the design and fall out one by one on the tray below. This design will help tidy up the table tennis room and prevent items from getting damaged or going missing.
Although I have taken this course before, this is the first time that I have completed a product design and manufactured independently. When I started the project the first issue was the balance of aesthetics and rationality, when in fact the biggest difficulty should be the production. Since the product is large, there are many tools I had not used before and different joining methods were required to be learned. The teachers guide us during production process but do encourage us to do the work as independently as possible.
Elena has created a very technically challenging storage solution for desks in boarding. It features a variety of panels that slot together without glue. This allows them to be taken apart and flat packed for transportation. She has created two additional storage boxes that have been made with high quality finger joints. The product has been well thought out and made with high quality.
Design & Technology (DT) is a British national course, mostly open to IGCSE and A Level students with an aim to cultivate students' product thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills.
DT is a fusion of engineering, materials, design, electronic engineering, market research and other disciplines. It has high requirements for academic level and practical ability, which brings challenge to both teachers and students.
At MIS, Design Technology is offered in Seniors (from Year 7-Year 13). DT is part of the curriculum for all students in Years 7-9 and then can be selected for IGCSE & A Level.
Under the guidance of teachers, students discover first the health and safety of using the tools and powerful equipment, after thorough investigation, they establish target user portraits, conduct product analysis, data collection, conceptual design, 3D modeling, product design, product production, evaluation, user experience step by step which implements students’ imagination from design to product.
In addition to the regular theoretical courses, MIS students also learn to use various materials in the DT workshop, such as wood, acrylic, cardboard, cement and 3D wire. They use various equipment to make products such as vacuum forming machines, laser cutting machines, acrylic bending machines and 3D printers. Students can learn simple electrical circuit knowledge, such as circuit design, electric iron, soldering, etc.
DT does not only assist in the learning of using materials and tools, but also training the definition of engineering problems. In the process of materialising products students use the skills learned to solve practical problems and cultivate creativity.
DT encourages student-centred learning by allowing students to handle a relatively independent project. From information collection to plan design, from 3D image visualisation to paper model testing, from virtual user communication to product optimization, finally promoting the project implementation to final evaluation and analysis. In interlocking projects, students lead the project and teachers provide support. In this way, students can learn how to build their own knowledge system and thinking mode to make products that can truly solve problems and meet the needs of others.
DT at MIS is a future-oriented subject. It provides students with a safe and fault-tolerant environment, helps students build problem-solving thinking and action models and cultivates students' innovative creativity to deal with various life problems and quickly adapt to the complex and changeable environment in the future.
Why MIS offers DT for all Seniors? 为什么曼校要向整个中学开设DT这门课程？
Design & Technology is part of the British National Curriculum. All students must take this subject in KS3. It is an optional subject for KS4 & KS5. It is important for students to be offered the ability to design and make products with their hands. This type of work forces students to utilise a different part of their brains, which is important for learning and growth. Additionally, many students excel in this subject when they might not do so well in the core subjects. It is important for students to be offered the opportunity to find their hidden talents.
What progress have you discovered from the students after they have studied DT at MIS? 你认为曼校学生上了DT课程之后有什么变化？
I notice a big change from students as they progress through KS3. When they enter the workshop in Year 7, they are quite timid because they might not have ever used tools before. When they progress through KS3 and leave Year 9, they have a lot more confidence and can make better decisions when faced with problems. In KS4, students’ progress to solving real problems with design. Last year, many students looked for problems around the school and then designed a product to solve those problems. This shows a lot of growth in these students because they realise the power of design as a tool for change.
Is this course equally important to boys and girls?
Design & Technology is not a gender specific subject, and it should not be labelled as a 'boys' subject. Both genders display similar abilities in lessons. The world needs more engineers, designers, and architects to solve the problems caused by previous generations and it does not matter their gender.
I think creativity has great potential in the future. Although my major may not have much to do with design, I think creativity is still an indispensable ability that is related to other seemingly unrelated disciplines. In other words, this course also taught me how to think from different angles. It is like solving a maths problem without a fixed answer. On the contrary, it can have many different methods. The same is true for design. It does not require people to repeat previous ideas, but to improve on the previous basis to make products that are unique to them. This is why DT attracts me the most.
This kind of course with many practical opportunities can be said to be one of my favourite courses. In DT class I can get a great sense of participation and accomplishment when my own work has improved better than in the experiment and is finally completed.
DT stimulated my interest in 3D modeling and as I want to study Illustration in University I feel 3D modeling can help me better describe the background.
I’ve always been interested in modeling before, and I didn’t see much after I bought the course online, but I learned more about this in DT class, and the things I learned in the class are also used in my robot holiday camp which made me more interested in robot design.
What attracted me is the use of tools which I can't use in normal everyday life. I was surprised to learn that some materials such as screws are versatile in their purpose. In the future, I want to make my own products with more experience.
Making reality products and modeling are completely different. I made a deviation in the proportions of my works, which our teacher gave many suggestions to help me improve my work. DT also taught me how to apply my work to life in terms of thinking.