P-TECH students have been working in teams to design furniture that can be built to add function to classroom space in the new program.
The goal was to design a piece of furniture that can store books as well as serve at least one additional purpose. After brainstorming ideas individually, students were placed into groups based on similar solutions. The groups then developed their designs further and created a proposal to showcase the idea to a panel of experts made up of representatives from a few of P-TECH’s local business partners.
“Combining our design projects with our peers to make a group design was fun,” P-TECH student Emerson Harris said. “We communicated with each other, asking questions to the teachers and looking at other perspectives of how it could work.”
Using design programs Tinkercad and Fusion 360, students developed 3D renders of their furniture which were then used to print scale models. Groups were then responsible for estimating a budget for each design by itemizing supply costs and calling vendors.
Each group then prepared a handout to accompany their proposal using Adobe InDesign, detailing their product’s uses, the process that led them to this design and the budget breakdown.
The expert panel included representatives from STEAM Collaborative, Rev Ithaca Startup Works, a local designer and business owner and Mr. Barry Derfel, acting P-TECH principal, who sat on the panel as a consultant on budgetary considerations. After presenting their ideas each group received feedback from the panel on their presentations and designs.
Students will use their feedback to continue to improve their designs with the ultimate goal of choosing the designs that are the most feasible and practical to build for use in the P-TECH classroom areas.