A Day of Fun CPD

Last week I went to an amazing day of CPD (continued professional development) that was organised by Teach Design. They had organised lots of different sessions with various companies, and I wanted to share with you the things I experienced.

The day started off with an introduction into the future of Design & Technology from David Barlex (@DavidBarlex) (you can read his blog here). He introduced lots of interesting ideas, especially relating to the enduring ideas of Design & Technology. One of his questions ‘what is better? A good design, badly made or a bad design made really well?’ made me think. I know I will need to audit my projects for next year, based on his ideas.

We then got to build Robots! VEX Robotics works a little like the Mechano I used as a child, but it has the additional use of motor and Systems & Control so you can make it move using a controller. I am not a Systems & Control teacher, I don’t really understand how it works but I did find it fun and interesting to put the robot together.

You can see here the various stages of building our Claw Robot. Annoyingly, when we had finally finished we couldn’t get it to work. So we had to be rescued by some Systems & Control teachers. It turned out that our wireless controller was not talking to our robot, so we had to go ‘old school’ and control it with a cable!

Next up was the session that made me want to come to this day. It was all about drawing in isometric (something pupils usually find very challenging). The Drawing Tool Company had come to show us a new drawing aid called an IsoSketch.

The IsoSketch is a very simple template that helps you to draw boxes and circles at the correct angle for isometric drawing. After playing around with it for a while, we were set a challenge to design a tent for a specific user (we had a choice of 3, I chose the ‘train spotter’). The best design would win a class set of IsoSketches (so competition was fierce!). This was my design, drawn entirely with an IsoSketch:

(and no, I didn’t win)

I will definitely be ordering some IsoSketches for my pupils to use!

As this blog post is in danger of becoming extremely long, I will post about the last 2 sessions next week (they involve careful disassembly and some wanton destruction!)

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