The FWSU Story: GEMS 4th Graders Work Through Design Process

For the past few weeks, students were challenged to learn how to design using rapid prototyping on the Cricut Maker.

Rapid prototyping allows students to develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a design process. This learning cycles helps them value the whole process and not just the end product in a meaningful way.

Instead of the traditional math lesson, Mrs. Leclair challenged her students to explore geometry concepts and how they could be integrated into a practical application. During the first part of the process, students learned how to use technology to manipulate various shapes to further understand measurement, ratio and properties of geometry.

Next, using a student centered design process, the students began to expand what they learned in order to build graphic art in the form of a sun catcher to be cut on the Cricut Maker. Since this electronic die cutter works quickly with everyday inexpensive supplies, it allows the students to design, and then redesign after evaluating their original works.

Rapid prototyping allows students multiple opportunities to get their designs right. There is no expectation to get it right the first time. In fact, much learning is occurs through students finding errors in their original plans. They are allowed to “fail forward”. By providing young innovators additional chances, provides a learning environment that takes away a lot of pressure. In addition, it helps build perseverance in students.

Angelique Fairbrother, FWSU Digital Learning Specialist
Angelique Fairbrother, FWSU Digital Learning Specialist

Angelique Fairbrother is the Digital Learning Coach at Franklin West Supervisory Union. She is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow her on Twitter @FWSUtech

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