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LITTLE DESIGNERS

Many of you will be aware that our visitor centre – Making it! Discovery Centre – closed in April 2015.  To build on its successes, the Board of Trustees have launched the “Little Designers” project, the aim being to engage young people (in the primary education sector) in designing and making activities through which they meet a local need or solve a design problem.    We were delighted when Stephen Michaels agreed to join us as Design & Technology Consultant. Stephen has a wealth of knowledge in this field and has worked in different establishments and gained valuable experience to assist the Trust in taking our project into schools.

Annesley Primary School in Nottinghamshire were chosen for the Little Designers Pilot project which was the design of an Award.  Initial meetings were held with the teaching staff in  November 2016 and following approval of their proposal, the pupils commenced the design process for the ARCHIE Awards.  ARCHIE is the school’s mascot bear and the staff wanted ARCHIE to have a big presence in the school as the children became more familiar with what he represents:-

                            Ambitious – Respectful – Confident – Honest – Independent – Equal

 

The school hoped that through involvement with the designing of the ARCHIE Awards that the children would take ownership of the award, giving them a deepened understanding of the core values and what is important to the school and give the children opportunities to develop their awareness in the world of manufactured products and some skills as designers and engineers.  It was hoped that they would have the opportunity to use creativity and imagination in the design process and acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art whilst gaining experience in the field of Design & Technology.

The pilot project was completed in April 2017.  A full evaluation of this Pilot Project is underway and will posted on the website as soon as it is available.

 

Stephen is currently working on Little Designer projects with Stanhope Primary School, Gedling / King Edward Primary School, Mansfield & Forest View Primary School, Ollerton.   Photographs and updates will be posted on the website as soon as they are available.

The focus of the Trust is to work with primary schools to develop design and make projects by using the design process.

We are looking for school projects such as:-

  1. Design a special prop for a school play or production,
  2. Design a game or stand that can be used as a revenue source at a school fete, open day etc.,
  3. Design a project linking into cross-curricular topics such as The Vikings, the Industrial Revolution etc.

How we can help make your next cross-curricular project the best ever

The “Little Designers” project will allow groups of pupils to take part in problem solving projects which, as well as designing and making a product for use in school, will also be entered into an annual “Little Designers” Competition  with a chance of winning an award and cash for the school.

Participating schools will receive help with:-

  1. Development of a suitable project theme from conception to completion,
  2. Project management by an experienced design and technology specialist teacher,
  3. Mentorship and support for pupils throughout the design and make process,
  4. Free access to state of the art design and manufacture facilities, and
  5. Specialist materials at no cost to the school.

Our Trustees are keen to promote an interest in design and manufacturing, particularly in children of primary age as we believe children of this age should be engaged early on in their education with hands-on creative lessons.  Nurturing design, manufacturing and problem solving in the young will give them a wider perspective on career choices going forward and help to shape their futures.

If you want your school to be at the cutting edge of D&T in primary education, feel free to phone our Chief Executive, Sue Walters to discuss how we can help give your pupils an advantage.  Email  – sue@makingit.org.uk.