In the story of City X, a colony has moved from Earth to a new planet as a way to expand our reach in the universe. The colonists have begun work there, but have limited resources and very specific needs. We, here on Earth, have been tasked with designing solutions for them. The CityX curriculum is well laid out and includes step by step lessons, reproducible materials, and supplemental digital resources.
Students move through the steps in the Design Thinking Process; Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test, and Share. Each student receives a specific character with a special need (see photos below), but the class discusses these needs not just as individual problems, but potential societal problems for the residents of CityX. Students define the problems, brainstorm ideas, and eventually build an initial model of using play dough.
After sharing our ideas and prototypes, we then move on to 3D design. We use TinkerCAD as our design tool, and this series of tutorial videos. Students learn the basics of combining and subtracting geometric shapes, and we discuss topics such as use of support material, efficient design & material usage, and consideration of print time.
The products are just starting to print out. Students will present their product to the whole class and share how it meets the needs of the CityX resident. They will also share their experience in 3D design and the design challenges they faced during this unit.