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Super duper KS3 RM/PD tasks

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by looloo123, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Hi all
    Looking for some help and suggestions. We offer RM at GCSE (as well as Food, Textiles & Graphics) - this is a popular choice at GCSE and the Head wants to keep it. I may however look at introducing Product Design aswell in the near future - something which for the moment will have to be put on hold.
    Our 'RM' teacher is traditionally an electronics/engineering specialist.The Head will not offer GCSE Electronics and we no longer offer Engineering. So his Teacher has to teach RM.
    We have re-named our KS3 RM "product design" as ideally I wanted to ensure pupils are still getting the Rm skills but with some systems/eletronics too.
    At the moment however , and this is fair enough as it is what he is comfortable with, most of the projects are taken up with making circuits, electronics, soldering so all the pupils have at the end is a circuit and not a product. Few pupils complete the project. For example one project is an alarmed money box, which the pupils like the idea of but the Teacher does the circuit first (which takes a lots of time) and then the 'box' remains incomplete or very rushed meaning the RM skills are being lost. With pupils opting for this at GCSE I feel it is important to embed RM knowledge and skills at KS3.
    So- do we keep it as Product Design or call it RM again?
    Can anyone suggest any fab D&M tasks which really push creativity and design yet encompassing RM skills with some systems/electronics? (We have about 8-9 weeks at 2 lessons per week)
    I have asked all staff to re-think their projects for next year - I am very keen on pushing creativity and not overloading pupils with worksheets/writing something which is currently happening in some areas. I really want to focus on designing . Our RM teacher is very good hands on wise and I would like to meet with some ideas/or SOW which work , are engaging and which promote RM at KS3 - Can you help????
    If you think any of that sounds strange, wrong or plain daft, feel free to comment as I really want to improve pupil progress and welcome any opinions etc !!!
    If you can simply post any ideas for projects/SOW it would be appreciated as then I can just make suggestions.
    Thanks in advance


  2. There are so many
    great projects out there, can you liaise with other schools? Do you have an AST
    for D&T in your area who could come in and support?.

    I think it is fine to call the subject Product Design and perhaps
    that is what it should appear as on the options forms, RM/Graphics/Product
    Design all have the same design process ethos, coursework requirements (in
    terms of mark schemes) and a large chunk of the theory overlaps (sustainability
    etc) so as long as the students are getting a course that meets their
    expectations it doesn't really matter what it is called?

    In terms of project ideas, the speaker project is very popular
    with students and I have seen it delivered in some really creative ways. It can
    be housed in tubing, finger-jointed boxes or laser cut acrylic casing. A creative
    design element could simply be added with vinyl decals cut on a stikka cutter.

    I don't think the problem you have is the projects delivered but
    the way they are delivered? If the design element is none existent and the RM
    casing is an add-on in your colleague’s mind I'm not sure a new project will

    My favourite project in terms of creative design is making an acrylic
    clock but again, if the teacher delivering it is not enthusiastic about the
    design element it is really difficult to drive up creativity and hence pupil

    <font size="2">My best advice is try to play to your staff's strengths

    </font><font face="Calibri">Good Luck!</font>

  3. Hi,

    I deliver some electronics at KS3, we make a steady hand game with Yr7 and instead of a buzzer we use a Kitronik circuit with flashing lights. The kids love this, they design the backboard and base and then make the circuit. These activities go on simultaneously so some kids soldering etc and some making the game. Its simple but involves quite a few skills. Then in Yr8 we get them to make a mood changing light for kids. So they make a simple box with finger joints which involves some skills and then they produce a CAM to go inside that turns a character that goes onto, the top of the box is clear acrylic so the light comes through. Again the kids love it and I have lots of Yr8's coming after school to work on their projects. I usually have a gang of about 20 twice a week. Some of the products have been outstanding and we use the laser to engrave characters onto MDF which they then paint so everything from toy story to star wars. I have an amazing technician who is always helping me come up with new projects.

    We've just done a very quick rocket project with Yr9, they collected drinks bottles and used them to make rocket lights. So they made fins etc, a simple LED circuit and a base. We use bamboo for the rocket to sit on and then the LED wires can run through this. Again the kids love it and have been very independent making it. Let me know if you want the SOW.

    Its just about tapping into what the kids love! Simple is often the best!
  4. For now be grateful head is on your side, ours has shut down resistant materials and is converting workshop so no road back! We use kitronics alot and have a laser cutter if you have access to these have a year 7 torch project and year 9 stereo amp project you could do?
  5. Be careful renaming subjects, this has happened in my school, they came up with Product Manufacture for RM and this has confused the kids. Result, few take it at GCSE.
    Kitroniks do some great kits, I have personally used the MP3 amp which is great and am working on their USB powered light project at the moment for both Product Design and Engineering.
  6. re

    re New commenter

    KItroniks do some good stuff. I would suggest that the amplifier from them is more KS4 product design.

    We do a programmable doorbell in Y8 which is quite successful.

    We have also been looking at product design GCSE to replace Electronics. The idea is to use use pre-designed circuits and components so that the pupils go home with something that works and they can concentrate on the designing. Personally I am tired of pupils 'designing' wooden boxes & tablesetc.
  7. Have you considered working backwards? Choose the course, then choose the controlled assessment tasks. Once you have decided upon these work backwards to Y10. What skills will they need to undertake the task(s). Back from there is to decide what skills they need to start the course, whether at Y10 (or as is becoming increasing common Y9). That becomes your specification for KS3.
    Not everything has to be design and make. Some projects could be just make and some could stop at the modelling stage. Some might be aimed at competencies that you decide students need, such as being able to use a laser cutter unsupervised or cut a finger joint.
    It seems to me that starting with Y7 and an open book is likely to result in a broad but very shallow experience. We went for AQA's Product Design about 8 years ago. We offer four biased routes - food, electronics, 3D materials and Textiles. We choose the specialism at the end of Y8 so Y9 really gets them used to larger projects, MP3 amplifier, design in Art Deco style for example. Y7 and Y8 we move around with the students. One course, one moderator, one exam but lots of diversity in terms of designing and making.......
  8. I personally am very fond of the TEP Aroma Fan project. Great to supply a design brief consisting of something such as; 'You are to design and manufacture an Aroma Fan Unit based on the theme of modern architecture - you are not designing a scale model of a building.' From this, your learners can begin looking at a variety of buildings and their shapes, colours, detail, (apply ACCESS FM in order to break down features) and combine some aspects of their research in order to develop their own. This way, the project will be inspired by research material as opposed to being based on it thus promoting creativity within DT!
  9. Buy him a laser cutter and some perspex or 3mm plywood, if that dont get him intrested find a new job for him or you!
    your well come to come to Accrington for a look at what we do!!!looloo
  10. timbdesign

    timbdesign New commenter

    I understand why many departments are moving to a single option of Product Design but I believe this will not help us fight for our place on the curriculum. The mention of electronics embedded in these products reassures me our future will consist of more than blue foam shapes that don't work.
    Consider any iconic product and the chances are it combines elegant form, great ergonomics, appropriate use of materials and fanatical pursuit of quality. These can be summarised as two unique selling points for our subject; design and engineering.
    Design (for a purpose) - Product Design is taught in most schools with some excellent examples around the country regularly featured in publications about the D&T.
    Engineering - A quick trawl through the a pile of D&T publications reveals vrey few projects where pupils demonstrate a clear understanding of materials to refine the shape and function of a component. Henry Ford is quoted as saying "Remove material to simplicate" implying that, once you have a working design, materials can be removed to refine the design further. A different interpretation of the well known quotation "less is more".
    D&T needs to redress the balance by teaching aspect of engineering (with a little 'e') in each project. If we do this D&T might gain some academic credibility.

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