Global Day of Design
Global Day of Design began in 2017 as the brainchild of John Spencer, co-author of Launch and Professor of Education Technology at George Fox University, and A.J. Juliani, co-author of Launch and Director of Technology and Innovation at Centennial School District. Its purpose is to inspire students around the globe to participate in innovative thinking and creating. It seeks to fulfill their desire to make, build, and tinker. Educators around the world believe that we should leave behind the factory-based system of education and embrace the new. It is part of our mission at Trinity School of Texas to encourage our students to become creative and thoughtful learners.
This year the TST middle school students participated for the first time. In Ms. Harrel’s science class, the 8th grade students designed and built roller coasters. They were tasked to design coasters using pipe insulation for the track and marbles for the cars. During this process, they learned about concepts like speed, momentum, velocity, acceleration, Newton’s Laws of Motion, gravitational potential energy, etc. The 7th graders engaged in a Shark Tank style invention contest. They brainstormed ideas, designed products, created business plans, built and tested their ideas and then presented them in front of a panel of teachers. Their task was to create something that (to their knowledge) had not previously been invented. If their idea already existed, they were asked to develop a way to modify it. There were creative ideas from all groups. Some of the products that they presented included an umbrella designed to filter rainwater, shoes that dispensed soap and could be used for mopping floors, natural bug spray that was scented with essential oils, a backpack organizer, a foldable chair with built-in fan, a jacket with pockets for holding both heat and ice packs, a hairbrush that dispensed hair styling products, a dry erase marker with a built-in spray bottle and eraser, gloves with built- in scrubbing sponges on the palms, lip gloss flavored with natural fruit juice, a heated pillow, microfiber board erasers, a survival flashlight, inspirational chocolates, wireless ear buds to protect ears when seated under a hair dryer, a velcro phone holder, peelable paint, a swimming pool chair, a motorless go-cart, a fidget spinner pencil topper, bandages infused with essential oils, a cup that could hold two drinks at once, and a table attachment to help keep students focused during school. Below are some photos of the students and their inventions.
In language arts, they were given a set of materials and challenged to create something new to solve a problem. They brainstormed, created, rebuilt, and kept trying. Along the way they learned that they needed to build and revise over and over again. Nothing is ever perfect the first time. In other words, it was just like writing an essay for me: they brainstormed (came up with a topic), wrote their thesis statements and rough drafts (designed their products), wrote their essays (built their products), edited and improved their papers (tested and readjusted their designs), and published their finished papers (built their finished products). It was a lot of work, but they persisted.
The middle school students also assisted the lower school students with design projects. In Mrs. Simpson’s class they read Yertle the Turtle and then helped the first graders design and construct castles to help the king see for “miles.” Fourth graders read The Three Billy Goats Gruff and then designed and built structures to help the three billy goats get from one side of the creek to the other without crossing the troll. Bridges had to withstand at least ten pounds, and all of the students were able to accomplish this feat. Structurally sound house construction was the focus of Mrs. Dotson’s students. They read The Three Little Pigs and then designed and built shelters that would withstand the winds of a tornado. Materials used included construction paper, straws, craft sticks, cellophane, and heavy tape. Once again, the designs were sound, and the structures withstood the mighty fan (tornado). The Bone Slinger Challenge was selected by Mrs. Rider’s third grade class. After reading Dogzilla, the students competed to see who could create the most incredible dog bone slinger to fling bones as far as possible away from the embattled city of Mousopolis. Items used to fabricate the slingers included clothes hangers, plastic spoons, small cups, masking tape, and cardboard. I am not sure who enjoyed these challenges the most - the lower school students or their middle school facilitators. Either way, I can’t wait for TST to participate again next year!