walk through the classroom door you will be entering the exciting world of
invention, innovation, engineering, and entrepreneurship. The class is an outgrowth from the
2004 Lemelson-MIT grant that enabled the school's InvenTeam to invent and
prototype a stair climbing robot for firefighters. In the spirit of the
Lemelson-MIT program, students will learn how to come up with an idea then
develop it through the prototype stage. Each student
will learn how to:
- conduct literature searches on
- conduct patent searches
- find clients and customers willing to
help develop the idea
- write a Lemelson-MIT type invention
- use a
decision matrix to evaluate alternatives.
- run simulations of basic concepts using
programs such as Excel Spreadsheets.
- develop time line plans (Gantt charts)
- make a
materials cost estimate using Excel
- make orthographic and assembly drawings
using computer software.
- build prototypes
- assemble a final report which will sell
the idea to potential investors.
Students will also focus on the IB design
methods and gain a knowledge of how ideas can be scaled up all the way into
manufacturing and commercialization. They will gain a deeper understanding
of how technologies are developed and of how engineers interact in the
Since materials science has traditionally
been a major road block to successful commercialization of inventions, a
significant part of the class will focus on strength of materials and
Finally, students will learn a number of
design and prototyping skills including soldering, use of basic hand and
power tools. They will often work together building prototypes.
(For details see
Mr. Rogers' Syllabus -
Information Common to All Classes.) Unlike Mr.
Rogers other classes less than 50 % of the grade will be based on tests. The
majority will be based on completing milestones for the major project and on
weekly project work.
Materials for Class
- A set of dry erase markers. You will frequently be working problems
in class on a white board.
- A bound composition book the
exact type shown at right (no substitutes accepted. This is required by
IB for keeping a log of the major project. Every time you talk to Mr.
Rogers one-on-one about your project you should have your composition
book and make notes in it.
- A scientific calculator.
Project: Each student will
create a major invention/design project based on the 10 items listed
above. The project must solve a problem for a client in an innovative
manner and will include a log book and final report. due the first Monday in March. It will be
impossible to pass the class during the 3rd and 4th quarters without
turning in this project.
If possible the design will be turned into
a working full scale prototype but this is not a requirement of the
Extra credit will
be awarded if the project is turned into a science fair project or major
Group IV Projects: Yes, Design
Technology is a Group IV subject and students will be required to
participate in a group IV project with a biology, chemistry, physics, and
design aspect. The good news:
classroom time will be allotted for the project and a major written
assignment will not be required.
Weekly Project Related Assignments:
These will be based on scientific and engineering investigations. Most of
these will be done in small groups
Continuous Brainstorming: There are
very few successful single idea people. Successful inventors and
innovators are generally wellsprings of ideas. While some of this
characteristic is natural talent, anyone can improve their ability to generate
ideas. Students will maintain an idea log of possible inventions they
would like to work on, and add to it at least weekly for a weekly grade. (Possible being a
key word here, in other words no time travel machines, warp drives, etc.)
Assignment Turn In: To the extent
possible, all assignments are to be turned in electronically and kept in
the IB Design Technology folder on each individual student's virtual hard
drive. The files are to be labled as follows:
<student's name> <exact title of the
The exceptions are the computer printed
major project and the hand written log book associated with it.
Leadership and Teamwork Development
Students will learn how to brainstorm as a group and how
to conduct effective meetings during both in-class projects and extra