Voyager Fifth Grade Students Design Their Own Toys

Voyager Fifth Grade Students Design Their Own Toys
Posted on 02/23/2018
Students look at the 3D printed toys

2/23/18 - Following a recent project, fifth-grade students at Voyager Elementary can add toy designer to their list of skills. For the project, the students were tasked with designing the next great toy that would become an instant craze, should it hit retail shelves.

To begin, the students researched the history of toys and then brainstormed ideas of what they thought would make a good toy. Next, the students worked collaboratively in design teams to design a toy that they felt would stand the test of time. Finally, the fifth-grade students teamed up with students from Howell High School’s computer-aided design (CAD) class to have a prototype of their toy printed on the high school’s 3D printer. The toys created included a pickle car, two mazes, a robot teddy bear, a parrot and a finger hoverboard.

“Throughout this project, the students were engaged and excited to learn all about toys and the process of creating a hit toy. The student's used skills learned in our English Language Arts lessons like reading, writing and researching as well as social skills and problem-solving as they discovered what makes a toy popular and as they collaborated in their groups to design their toys,” said Tracy Foltz, Voyager Elementary fifth-grade teacher. “I am very proud of the creativity my students used in designing their toys, and I was very impressed with the high schoolers.  They were supportive and encouraged the fifth-grade students.”

“The project was about the process of making toys and coming up with an idea with other people and make compromises. Someone in our group wanted a chicken car, and someone else came up with a maze, so we decided to do a chicken maze,” said Aubrey, Voyager fifth-grade student.

“We were expecting them to ask the world and we couldn't give it to them, but they were actually pretty modest, stuff that was conceivable and things that could be done relatively easily,” said Joe Minor, Howell High School CAD student.  “It was fun. I liked coming down and talking to them, going through the whole process like an actual business would do and then taking their ideas and creating them,” added Jeremy Coen, Howell High School CAD student.

The project was inspired by a similar PBL lesson created by Ben Bache. Bache’s website shares several different PBL lessons. Using researching shared on the site, Foltz adapted and added to the lesson to include the actual creation of the toy prototypes.

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