Port Noarlunga Primary School

Teaching Design Technology at PNPS

Nov 20, 2019 | class story, school info


As a part of my role this year I have been teaching design technology to two classes. Miss Emily’s year 5/6 class and Miss Alana’s year 2/3’s. Students have taken on the various problem solving tasks that have been thrown at them throughout the year with enthusiasm, excitement and determination.

Students have been learning about many ideas within the design technology curriculum including;
• Forces
• Strong shapes
• Action/ reaction
• Manipulating materials
• Planning and predicting
• The design process
• Testing prototypes and making changes
• Presenting their efforts to their peers

Projects that have been undertaken this year include:

• Using a defined amount of paper to make a tower that could hold as much weight as possible
• Making iPad holders out of Lego
• Making bridges out of spaghetti that span a particular distance and must be able to maintain some force on them
• Rube Goldberg machines, which are chain reaction machines made of everyday objects that continue momentum to achieve a small task (Type Rube Goldberg machine into any search engine / YouTube and you will get the idea)
• Machines that had to propel a table tennis ball at least 2 metres with no human effort
• Creating a contraption that could safely catch an egg dropped from a height
• Designing and testing paper aeroplanes to achieve a longest flight
• Testing the effects of different shapes for parachutes

This has all been a huge success with students learning new skills, improving their resilience and having a great time testing their prototypes and sharing them with their classmates.

What the students had to say:

“I liked making and building stuff and flying paper aeroplanes. I learnt how to improve my making and to make stuff strong and fly far.” Willow (Year 2/3)

“I liked making the spaghetti bridges and the Rube Goldberg machines. I learnt that if you believe that you can make it, then you’re a legend, and that you have to be creative.” Margy (Year 2/3)

“I like making the spaghetti bridges and the Goldberg machines. I learnt about trusses when making the bridges and how to make Goldberg machines work.” Ruby W (Year 2/3)

“I like that we get to design our own project based on what we have been told to do. I learnt what works and what doesn’t and how things don’t always go well with your projects. I learnt how to make things.” Mason (Year 5/6)

“I liked being able to brainstorm ideas with a classmate (that I don’t normally work with), the teacher trusting us and letting us push ourselves to the limit and having (pretty much) endless supplies to create amazing contraptions. I learnt about balancing things out and having the correct measurements, working with my partner and understanding their ideas and adding adjustments to what we’ve already made and understanding that not everything goes right the first time.” Zoe C (Year 5/6)

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