Students are introduced to SolidWorks, a parametric design software package, to complete specific 3D models which incorporate different features of the program. Students will also use West Point Bridge Designer to build and simulate a bridge design, calculate for material use and scale reduction. Finally, students will work in teams to draw a set of working plans to construct their bridge. During the construction phase of the bridge project, students learn about different types of wood joints, tension and compression forces and team work skills. Once students complete their bridge construction, they will see their final design destructively tested so they can analyze how the structure performed as compared to their simulated design.
Students are introduced to the concepts of programming. Students are given a basic overview of what programming is and what its applications can include. During the programming unit, students use reverse engineering and discovery learning to analyze and program a basic video game using Game Maker, a video game design software package. The final component of this course allows the students to explore programming on their own by creating a video game of their own design. The students draft a proposal of what their game will involve prior to beginning work and their final game is presented to the class.
Students are introduced to various methods of materials fabrication within a production lab setting. Through whole class demonstrations, students see the difference between custom manufacturing and mass production in terms of quality and quantity of output. The concepts of just-in-time manufacturing are discussed throughout the activity. Automated manufacturing is introduced through the use of a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) router. Students utilize a variety of tools, machines and fixtures during the production run. The output for this activity is a wooden folding stool.
In seventh grade, the focus is on developing the student’s technique and skill in various mediums. Students will explore how art is defined, why it is valued and understand that art is created for a variety of purposes in numerous forms. Students will develop power of observation and artistic problem solving. The elements and principles of design are included within each lesson. Students will work with medias such as clay, watercolors, drawing tools and printmaking materials.