Design and Technology Department - an introduction
Design & Technology gives you an understanding of the way in which people design and make products that are useful and easy to use. To do this it is necessary to understand the qualities that each material possesses and the ways in which it can be shaped. To design products that are good to look at it makes sense to research what other designers have done and what lessons might be learned from the successes and mistakes of others. Only with an awareness of things around us can we be really good designers. We must be able to communicate our ideas to others easily and clearly.
In Design and Technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. Through design and technology pupils develop confidence in using practical skills and become discriminating users of products. They apply their creative thinking and learn to innovate.
Pupils to compete at World Robotics Championships Final in US
On the 26th January a joint team of pupils, aged 11 to 15, who are pupils from Ralph Allen and King Edward’s Schools in Bath, became the UK First Lego League Robotics Champions. As a result of winning this national competition they have been invited to attend the World Robotics Championships Final in St Louis, USA.
Over 20,000 teams worldwide entered the First Lego League competition and only the best teams from around the world have been selected. The Bath team is the sole representative from the UK.
The competition includes two key challenges: to design, build and program a robot capable of performing a range of complex tasks in a live competition, and to research, design and present an innovative product aimed at solving a problem experienced by elderly people.
The team’s robot, nick named ‘The Beast’ by the compere of the UK Championships due to its size and complexity, uses light, touch and ultrasonic sensors to find its way round the course. The Beast contains a range of attachments for specific missions, and even includes a detachable mini-robot for missions requiring more dexterity.
For the project, the team invented an intelligent doorbell for elderly people which recognises visitors by scanning their fingerprints and informs the elderly resident who is at their front door via a screen display. For someone with either poor mobility or dementia, it can automatically open the door for recognised visitors. The system also reduces anxiety for older people by letting them know who is calling. The team carried out extensive research with a number of elderly people as well as experts from organisations including Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, Rolls Royce and Age UK in order to develop their design.
The team are very excited about being invited to the World Final of the Robotics Championship but need to raise £10,000 for members of the group to travel to America to take part. All adults accompanying the team are self-funding.
Since winning the UK National Championships the team have been improving their robot and concentrating on building a prototype of the fingerprint recognition doorbell they designed. They have also been fundraising themselves including selling doughnuts at the Bath Half Marathon, bag packing and presenting their designs to potential sponsors. So far they have raised £5,500 including donations from; British Automation and Robot Association, Mrs Claydon, Dyson Foundation, Global Robots, ICOR Technology Inc, Kawasaki Robotics, Rolls Royce and Storm Consultancy.
There are a number of opportunities for companies and organisations supporting the appeal to raise their profile through media coverage of the event and have their corporate logo embroidered on the team’s event kit. In addition, the team are offering a ‘Meet the Team’ opportunity when they will visit your organisation and give a presentation on the robotics challenge, talk about how they designed their robot and the fingerprint recognition doorbell and explain the technical features of their designs.
The educational benefit of participating and enjoying so much success in a competition specifically designed to stimulate interest in the STEM subjects is immeasurable. The pupils are excellent ambassadors for these hugely important subject areas and are generating a lot of interest and media coverage with their enthusiasm.
For further information, please visit our website http://untitled-1-legoroboticsteam.webs.com/
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two King Edward’s School pupils win an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Award
The Sixth Form pupils were among 1,100 applicants nationwide who applied for just 300 scholarships.
The scholarships support young people from across the UK who have the potential to be future leaders in engineering and design.
To gain the Award pupils must prepare a detailed application form, take a two hour aptitude paper and attend an interview day. During the interview day the candidates must solve an engineering problem with a team of people they have never met before.
During their sixth form studies, scholars receive £600 to support their technical courses and have access to a range of opportunities to learn more about engineering, such as mentoring and company visits. The school also receives £400 per scholar.
Congratulating the boys on their achievement, Mr Neil Purcell, Design and Technology Teacher at King Edward’s School, said: “The Award aims to identify students who will be the country’s future leaders in engineering and design technology. The selection process for the Award is a very rigorous one and both Matthew and Andrew are to be congratulated on their commitment, dedication and considerable technical capabilities.”
Key processes in the design of products
These are the essential skills and processes in design and technology that pupils need to learn to make progress.
Pupils should be able to:
- Generate, develop, model and communicate ideas in a range of ways, using appropriate strategies
- Respond creatively to briefs, developing their own proposals and producing specifications for products
- Apply their knowledge and understanding of a range of materials, ingredients and technologies to design and make their products
- Use their understanding of others’ designing to inform their own
- Plan and organise activities and then shape, form, mix, assemble and finish materials, components or ingredients
- Evaluate which hand and machine tools, equipment and computer-aided design/manufacture (CAD/CAM) facilities are the most appropriate to use
- Solve technical problems
- Reflect critically when evaluating and modifying their ideas and proposals to improve products throughout their development and manufacture
Design and Technology Curriculum at King Edward’s School
Initially Year 7 and 8 pupils are introduced to a wide range of design and make activities that cover the four main compliant materials, wood, metal, plastic and textiles. Students apply the design process to problem solve each task. The projects allow for individual design and decision making whilst constraining other areas such as material choice, tools and equipment.
Year 9 will build on and develop the pupils understanding of the way in which people design and make products and will further challenge them to create innovative solutions to the problems posed. This will be mainly done through practical assignments, although the increased amount of time will allow the pupils to look at what other designers have done and, perhaps, use this to further enhance their own designing.