Design Technology Challenge

Dan Martinez

St Hilda's

Arthritis impacts a range of people in our community. My girls were upset to hear stories of elderly people losing the basic ability to feed themselves unassisted and wanted to d something to help. We spoke about the meaning of our school motto, Non Nobis Solum, and how important it is to help others. We embarked upon a design challenge that incorporated elements of STEAM and Challenge Based Learning. The main challenge was to design a fork that could be gripped easily with minimal effort. The Girls worked on creating a range of possible designs before critically anaylsing each of their proposed designs in detail.

The successful design that has been produced for Abir Anglican Aged Care was created by a 9 year old year 4 student, Aine Her initial design was drafted and transferred into a computer based illustration using Adobe Illustrator. The design was then cut out of acrylic perspex using the Laser Printer located in the Senior School Design and Engineering Faculty.

The next step involved our class initiating contact with a local aged care facility called ABRI Aged Care. Aine presented Abri with a number of her forks and spoke about how she hoped her design could possibly be used to improve the lives of others. Abri begin trialling her forks with their residents. Some months later, they provided Aine with valuable feedback which was used to further improve her fork and maximise the suitability of her design for Abri's residents.

We are now onto our 3rd redesign and have been asked to design and produce a range of forks, spoons, knives and combs.