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Design your own ideal PGL Center
After their recent residential trip to a PGL centre, Year 6 embarked on a project to consider how an area of undeveloped wasteland on a nearby residential and industrial estate could be transformed.Education
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Fiona Shelmerdine, teacher at Brookmead School
Assignment description After their recent residential trip to a PGL centre, Year 6 embarked on a project to consider how an area of undeveloped wasteland on a nearby residential and industrial estate could be transformed. We walked to the site from school, completed initial drawings and jotted down ideas before then considering the advantages and disadvantages of developing the site back in the classroom. We used this evidence and our plans to write persuasive letters to the Parish Council detailing why this area of land could be transformed into a PGL-type centre on our doorstep. Wanting to design and create something that would have relevance and meaning to the children, we used the opportunity of the Ultimaker Challenge to engage the children with the concept of 3D printing as a tool for realising their designs and innovation. 3D printing was something that one or two were aware of as they have older siblings at senior schools who may have seen a 3D printer working. Most had not considered it to be something to which they would have access.
The children worked in groups of 3 or 4 to gather ideas for one specific aspect of the site - a low level obstacle course which had to incorporate elements that allowed uses to go over, under, around and through.
They recorded their thoughts on Mindmup - a free, easy-to-use mind-mapping tool available on Chrome.
Each group considered the materials they would need if they were to make their design as part of a real obstacle course; whether they were sustainable and environmentally friendly? They also had to develop their plans so they would fit a target audience- young people visiting an adventure centre - evaluate and make alterations ensuring that these specifications were met.
Using Google Drawings initial design ideas could be inserted as attached files to the Mindmup. Once sure of their ideas, scales and sizes were considered with multi-link to support their understanding of scale, before recording measurements on detailed paper plans. 3dslash (https://www.3dslash.net/index.php) enabled their low level obstacle course design to be 3D printer ready. Files can be downloaded as an .stl file ready to share and print on our Ultimaker 2+.
Main question Can you plan, design and print a low level obstacle course suitable for children between the ages of 9 and 14 using Mindmup, Google drawings and 3dslash?
Sub questions Is it environmentally friendly? Does it fit in with its surroundings? What materials would it use? Does it appeal to your target audience? How could you check this? What dimensions should it be?
Materials and methods
Children will learn to:
● Work collaboratively to achieve an outcome.
● Design, evaluate and improve a design as part of the design process.
● Explore the options to record ideas using ‘Mindmup’ and incorporate other programs such as ‘Google Drawings’.
● Use measurement and scale conversions in a real-life context.
2-3 x 1hr lessons for planning and initial design.
2 x 1hr lessons for design improvement using 3D software to create the design ready for printing.
Type of education Brookmead School is a primary school in England. We are a two form entry school starting at age 4 up to age 11. There are 320 children on role.
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