From Digital Hero Meters to Ecoroads: Rapid Prototyping in Middle Years. The power of invention.[En]

By Joan Mauri, MYP Design and Robotics teacher

As part of their work in sustainable cities, Year 7 and 8 students have developed a project for their Technology and Coding subject. The chosen projects were to design a road that absorbed CO2 emissions (figure 1) and to build a wearable that helped them keep social distance. Both projects include computer design, 3D printing, Arduino programming, and machine learning.

The initial phase was to sketch their ideas and requirements. With a clear understanding of the functionalities and components, they started the implementation phase where they developed the mechanical structure, the electronics, and the programming with 3d designing tools and setting up simulations. They were able to understand and follow the Quality Gate Methodology from an engineer’s point of view.

Figure 3. Quality Gate Model. 

During the process, the students needed to learn about new design tools such as Tinkercad, a virtual online platform where users can learn, teach and develop their own projects with a 3d Design tool and an Electronics and programming tool Arduino-based. All of our students started using Tinkercad in Primary Years, so they are familiarised with the tools. They also learned how to use Arduino IDE (an open-source platform where users can easily code and upload it to a physical Arduino board in which they can run the project) and Teachable Machine, a google web tool that makes it fast and easy to create machine learning models. 

 Figure 4. Eco Roads Design.                                    

    Figure 5. Gadget Design 

  Figure 6. Electronics circuit. 

Figure 6. Arduino Programming. 

After six months of hard work, we did it!