Eighth grade students in physical science, who are currently studying simple machines, used the Design Cycle to create their own playground. They followed these steps:
Ask: Students were asked to think about what simple machines already exist in playground equipment today. They were challenged to design equipment that would be functional, enjoyable, and affordable.
Research: They researched playground equipment from all over the world. As religion is a crucial element to Mount Carmel Academy's STEAM-based learning, students were also reminded to respect the dignity of all humans and research ADA requirements for inclusive and accessible equipment for children with disabilities.
Imagine: They began thinking about their own playground equipment, focusing on how to incorporate a simple machine and how to make it accessible to all children.
Plan: Each group chose a simple machine for their design. They considered many factors. Does it exist? Is it brand new? Is it safe?
Create: The groups designed their 3D models and printed their equipment in the Phyllis M. Taylor Maker Lab.
Next, each class will combine their models and assemble a working playground. They will then complete the cycle with these steps:
Evaluate: A playground committee will be formed, which will examine each piece of equipment and determine if it would be safe and accessible.
Improve: The projects that are not approved by the playground committee will be redesigned and reprinted. Students will assemble their playground on foam board and present to their class. They will discuss why they created their model, where it can be found in the world, and how it is safe and inclusive.