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Toy Inventor’s Workshop

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Keywords: Design, create, invent, revise, present
Subject(s): Math, English/Language Arts, Art, Technology
Grade 11
Original Author: Douglas Stuivenga, Keizer
LESSON TITLE: Toy Inventor’s Workshop

The purpose of this lesson is to create unique three-dimensional toys appealing to preschool children. Students will chat with preschool children about their favorite toys. These chats will be videotaped and analyzed for common “likes” about toys. Favorite toys will be photographed. Students will create a spreadsheet and graph characteristics of popular toys. Finally, working in small groups, students will use modeling clay and then computers to build a three-dimensional model of a toy they designed with these desired characteristics. We will take the computer models to a local community college to be printed on a rapid prototyping machine. Students will then take the model of the toy they created back to the preschool and introduce it to the children, and observe the children’s response to the toy. Students will document their analysis and design process using Multimedia Lab V, and present it to parents, local industry representatives, and media personnel.

By the end of this lesson, the students will:
· Be able to effectively operate a digital camera.
· Be able to apply skills in 3-D design software to a project of their own creation.
· Be able to create a Power Point presentation with photo, video, sound, and text using Multimedia Lab V.


The lesson will be introduced as a culminating project in an advanced Drafting & Design class. Lesson will begin with a presentation by a preschool teacher of age-appropriate activities for preschool children. The high-school teacher will explain the process of a) research & data collection, b) design c) computer model creation, d) rapid prototyping, e) presentation to preschool children, and f) presentation to adults. Students will be given a scoring matrix showing how their projects will be evaluated.

§ Day 1: Presentation by preschool teacher.
§ Day 2, 3, & 4: Students will go in small groups to community preschools and videotape chats with preschool children about their favorite toys. Students will photograph toys discussed.
§ Day 5 & 6: Students will watch videotapes and compile a list of key characteristics of favorite toys. Students will build this data into a Excel spreadsheet and create a graph or graphs to illustrate the data
§ Day 7, & 8: Students will work in small groups to sketch multiple ideas for toys that have these characteristics.
§ Day 9-18: Students will create a three-dimensional model of their toy first using modeling clay, and then using Rhinoceros, Inventor, or Solidworks software. Students will create a colored, rendered picture or set of pictures for presentation, and a short .avi video of their toy in motion. Completed .stl files will be taken to the community college for rapid prototyping. Students will calculate volume of materials used in toy to determine prototyping cost.
§ Day 19: Students and teacher will visit the local community college’s Manufacturing Program and see the rapid prototyping machine. They will listen to a presentation on careers in design and manufacturing.
§ Day 20: Complete Multimedia Lab V Tutorials in the Computer Lab.
§ Day 21 & 22: Students will create an outline for their group presentation and begin assembling sketches, videos of interviews, photos of toys and clay models, and graphs of data.
§ Day 23 & 24: Students will receive prototypes of toys and do any required painting and assembly.
§ Day 25: Students will take toys back to the preschool and gauge students’ response to the toys. This will also be videotaped.
§ Days, 26 & 27: Students will finalize their presentation and include video of their presentation to preschool students. The presentation will include still photos, video, computer animation, and a sound track.
§ Day 28 & 29: Students will practice their presentations in front of their classmates.
§ Day 30: Students will present their entire project to parents and local industry representatives and media personnel. Students will take pictures of interactions during the evening and the reception.
§ Day 31: Students will write and share reflections about the process describing what each student liked, disliked, would keep the same, or do differently next time.

I did receive a $2000 ING grant to try this project--I will be implementing it for the first time in the spring of 2007. Feel free to contact me after June of '07 for information on how it went.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students in my advanced CAD class will be working with students in the advanced Manufacturing class to create the toys. This project has lots of opportunities for linking with math, science, English, and speech classes as well.
Materials: Point and Shoot, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Slideshow, Worksheets, Timeline, Cause and Effect, Video Editing, xD Memory Cards, Batteries
Other Items: 2 Field Trips to local community colleges design labs, $100 each, total of $200.00
30 Cubic inches of material printed on rapid-prototyper @ $10/cu.in., $300 each, total of $9000.00
Associated File: 4756.kid