BE Design and year 5 & 6 pupils from the Mount School in Newark, have just completed a design collaboration project. The winner of which, Isaac Williams, is proudly pictured receiving a 3d printed model of his design from Tom Shiels.
Carole & Tom from BE Design went into the school and introduced the year 5/6 children to what BE Design does and the roles of Architects and Engineers within society. Engaging with them created lively discussion and raised awareness across the class. As the children and the designers got to know each other, we quickly realised that apart from every child’s interest in technology, all children have an amazing creative side and LOVE a challenge.
Coincidentally, the National Curriculum promotes the use of design and technology to solve practical and creative problems, so working with the teachers we decided to make the most of this and introduce the children to the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and set them a design challenge.
The pupils were split into pairs and given a brief to design a leisure facility, no larger than their school field (c.100x100m), that had separate 2 storey support building. The children were encouraged to be as imaginative as they liked and to draw it out on paper before starting to create it using SketchUp design software. They could let their imaginations run wild, fitting it out with the leisure options of their choice. These included pools, gyms, restaurants, spas, climbing walls and far far more.
As well as being on hand to provide advice at the launch of the project, BE Design visited during the design challenge period. The Children also had a dedicated email address to be able to contact BE Design’s team, for design and technical, advice available to both the pupils and the teachers.
BE Design received some amazing designs and as well as the model for the winner, presented the school with a bound book of their creations to mark their endeavours.
Mr Terry – Teacher
This has been a fantastic learning opportunity for the children in our Year 5/6 Unit. The combination of everyday computer skills such as locating files, navigating a system and saving documents to a specific folder along with the bespoke skills needed for the SketchUp programme we used have benefitted them greatly in their computing development.
This project has also been a great opportunity to build resilience in the children as not everything was plain sailing. SketchUp proved a difficult programme to understand meaning the children struggled to translate their fantastic and elaborate designs in the way they had intended. This said, it meant they were challenged to solve these problems themselves and find ways to make their designs appear on screen. As a result, the children became increasingly familiar with the programme and their confidence grew as the weeks went by.
Overall, the children have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and frequently asked whether it was time for BE Design during the school week. Some children even used their own time at lunch or playtime to get out a laptop and carry on with their work. It’s been an interesting and practical experience that with future development would be a useful addition to the primary computing curriculum.
We have all enjoyed this so much we are all looking forward to doing it all over again in the Autumn of 2018.