Design Activities - Design & Technologies

  • AskNature is a fantastic site for learning about biomimicry. It that lets you explore nature's solutions to various challenges
  • Here's a great Unit of Work from Jill Livett on Making Cardboard Furniture
  • Mark Grech has also shared a Cardboard Furniture design project
  • Click HERE for a design brief and HERE for a project template for a Chair Design unit of work, also from Mark Grech
  • Maryann Augustinus has shared her Cracking Contraptions unit, where year 7 students design a machine inspired by Rube Goldberg
  • Another great resource for Year 7 from Maryann - Design a Marble Run Machine
  • The Covid-19 Facemask Challenge was developed by Seven Vinton, and is open to all Victorian Schools - it's a fantastic project to run with yout D&T classes
  • Zoos Victoria have created a STEM Design Challenge, which focusses on Animals at Home. Students can chose from 4 design briefs, and there is a webinar and support materials for them to complete at home
  • Museums Victoria have published a range of student resources which explore STEM and Innovation
  • Thanks to Anthony Gasson for sharing this great Escape Room Challenge from the Banyule Nillumbik Tech School, aimed at Middle-year students
  • Sydney's Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences have a great range of projects in their Learning from Home website
  • Trevor Ellington has shared a great Paper Plane Challenge design brief and launcher build instructions. (And you could use this excuse to watch Paper Planes, if you haven't seen it already!)
  • The UK's Smallpiece Trust is releasing a new Engineering@Home Challenge every Wednesday - a great site for getting students to do hands-on activities from home
  • Got students interested in cars? The Top Gear Department of Education has developed a range of automotive design challenges for students working at home!
  • Makers Empire have created a range of free 3D Design Challenges for Students that focus on helping people affected by COVID-19. They include a Parents' Guide, Teachers' Resources and 10 3D Design Challenges
  • Monash University has published a fantastic site on STEM Education, which includes a series of talks with STEM experts and a professional learning toolk
  • Cisco's Global Problem Solvers is an online series, based on a team of teenage superheros, which promotes social entrepreurship in years 4-8
  • Gardening Australia have a guide to making a Bee Hotel at home
  • Gary Hustwitt will be streaming his films -  which incluide Objectified, Helvetica and Raams - free throughout the Covid-19 Crisis. What an amazing resource!
  • Here are some short design development activities shared by Peter Murphy. Click HERE to download all eight.
  • Steph Porinno also shared this great set of activities for students to develop their drawing and sketching techniques
  • The UK's Design & Technology Association had produced a Design Thinking Random Scenario Generator - great for setting up some short design talks for students
  • Here's a very relevant design challenge from the UK's Design Week - How would you redesign a hand sanitiser pump?
  • You can challenge your student to tackle the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals with the World's Largest Lesson website

Maryann Augustinus has shared a great range of YouTube Videos on how Taylor make their guitars:

TOP DESIGNS 2020 is now live! Your students can take a virtual tour through the exhibition, view products and folios and watch interviews with exhibitors. Congratulations to all the amazing students (and their amazing teachers!) whose work was selected.

  • Get your class focussing on human-centred design. Watch this TED Talk by SinĂ©ad Burke and ask, who are we not designing for?
  • Your students can take the So You Think You Can Design Challenges from our national competition
  • Practical Action has a searchable resource bank on D&T and STEM classroom projects related to global issues
  • FUSE has a fantastic range of design-based activities to run with your classes - browse them all HERE
  • The Digital Technologies Hub has a library of Design Thinking activities which are benchmarked to the Australian Curriculum

Frank Drandi has shared his lessons for VCE PD&T Unit 3 Outcome 2 - Explain and analyse influences on the design, development and manufacture of products within industrial settings. 

  • The D&T faculty from St Monica's in Epping shared this great activity they'll be doing with their students. In the Samsung/Dezeen Out of the Box Challenge, participants must use upcycled cardboard to create a household object. Unfortunatley you have to be over 18 to be in the running for the cash prize, but it's still a really engaging project that your students can do from home.
  • ABC iview have a fantastic series for young people called So You Want to be a Designer - each episode is less than 30 mins long, and they explore topics like user-centred design, life-cycle assessment, mass manufacture and sustainability. Thanks Chris Holmes for sharing.
  • Maryann Augustinus sent us another great series on design that students can watch from home. Australia by Design - Innovation is available on YouTube
  • Michael O'Brien shared this great set of resources on design elements & principles
  • Justin Elliot shared this Wild Forest Adventure for Year 7 D&T (Wood), It was developed by the NSW Forestry Corporation.

A note on digital folios from Jacinta O'Leary:

Digital folios can be done with any software and any combination of software. There is really no difference between them and a printed folio.
  • Word and Powerpoint can easily be saved as pdf files. They can be used for all the written components. Google Slides can also be used.
  • Drawings can be scanned and saved as pdf. Sometimes I allow photos but mostly students take poor quality, crooked, blurry photos so I only let the 'good photographers' do that.
  • Google sites can be used for research collecting as well as the journal later in the year. Screen shots can be taken and saved as pdf.
  • CAD files can also be submitted as pdf, albeit a screen shot if needed.
These are all the simple software that most students have access to, others are also useful. Then to submit, I ask my students to combine their work for each criterion separately into its own pdf. They need to check the file size and make sure it is under any restrictions they may have.

A note on SOCRATIVE from Pat McMahon

Pat recommends the Socrative platform as a great tool to teach D&T online. It's an effective way to deliver online content, whilst monitoring and evaluating student learning at the same time. Pat has shared many of his own Technologies lesson plans on the site to get your students started.  You can find a guide to logging on students HERE and a list of links to his D&T projects HERE


Thanks to The Department of Education & Training's Strategic Partnerships Program for their support for DATTA Vic's Teaching Applied STEM in Design & Technologies initiative

Disclaimer: These resources the work of practising teachers or education providers, who have shared them in good faith and for general information only. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DATTA Vic, nor do DATTA Vic endorse the accuracy or suitability of the information for any particular purpose. Note that this material has not been verified by VCAA. Responsibility in response to the material must be accepted by users. For VCE, teachers must refer to the mandatory documents in relation to the VCE Product Design and Technology/Systems Engineering study designs from VCAA, which are available online and updated every year. For safety information, teachers must consult the relevant OHS Hazard Management section of the department's website.