Students have been pushing the level of their own creativity and we couldn't be happier.
It has been a long road but finally the technology department can proudly say we have a cohort of learners who not only understand the design process but have confidence in developing outcomes that show the essential skills needed to be successful.
It has been the departments goal this year to offer our students an authentic experience in the workshop environment, and for them to take risks. We have a cohort of learners who understand that overcoming problems is a big part of the process when developing outcomes that are fit for purpose.
Our senior students have blown us away in terms of the level of creativity we are now seeing. Gabe Ross, in Year 12, designed and manufactured a fully working spear gun, using various materials including carbon fibre. In Year 13, Bailey Dowling decided to up-cycle a set of wagon wheels into a very impressive outside table, which him and his family could enjoy after a hard days work on the farm. He combined the wheels with slabs of macrocarpa, mild steel and developed an outcome he should be really proud of. Hamish Ross in year 11 impressed us all with his incredible resin side table that he designed, developed and manufactured with incredible detail and resilience.
Technology is all about promoting the creativity our students possess, and it is always a pleasure to observe their ideas come to life. We promote our learners to be problem solvers and give them the skills needed to be resilient in the face of adversity. An example of this is the fantastic success Billy Ellwood had in year 12. Billy developed a side table that consisted of plywood and resin, he had many problems that he needed to solve along the way and he tackled them head on through modelling and testing until he got it right. This meant he had the confidence to apply what he had learnt in the developing and testing stage into his final outcome. We decided to put Billy's project into a competition as he had independently developed a very unique piece of furniture which was worthy of sharing. Billy ended up winning the competition and now has the ambition of completing an Industrial Design Course at Massey University once he has year 13 out of the way.
Another example of the skills our senior boys possess is the incredible job Daniel Lund made of his stool project. In year 11 we challenged the boys to design and manufacture a stool based on a certain design era. Daniel produced an outstanding final outcome which needed plenty of development to ensure it could support a load of 120kgs. Daniels portfolio was exemplary and it communicated every problem he faced and how he overcame them to a very high standard. His creative vision was not compromised due to the level of development, trialling and testing he completed along the way.
Junior technology has also been a very enjoyable time for us and our students in 2019. We decided to push our juniors creativity in the same way as our senior students and they have taken to the challenge face on. Most junior technology classes around the world comprise of very didactic teaching, which we feel does not push creativity as much as we would like. Rather than giving our students a set of plans that follow a step by step, linear path, we challenge them to solve an issue or give them a context in which they can develop an outcome.
Within the workshop In Year 7 we focus on cutting and shaping materials, this is to introduce our students on how certain materials have specific performance properties, which dictates how they can be manipulated. In Year 8 we build on this knowledge and introduce how those materials can be joined. By the time our learners have gone through this cycle and reach year 9 we start to introduce more complex contexts, that our students will hopefully be able to tackle with confidence and more importantly, creative independence.
This is the first year we have executed this approach and although it means we have to think on our feet a lot more in terms of preparing resources, it compliments what we expect in senior classes. The goal is, by the the time our current year 7 cohort reach year 11, they will be very confident problem solvers, who understand how to achieve and manufacture the vast creative ideas they have in their head.
Thanks again for all the support we continue to receive from the McGlashan community.