Mr. Rogers' IB Design Technology Objectives
Syllabus 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Inv. innov. & design Design cycle  Green Design Group IV  

Topic 1 The Design Process

IB Design Technology Standards: Items directly related to the standards are shown in blue

Lesson Plan Practice Test


Essential Question: Is a design ever finished?

The Design Process

  1. Take an Invention from Concept to Prototype - the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam method

  • conduct literature searches on  ideas
  • conduct patent searches
  • find clients and customers willing to help develop the idea
  • write a design brief including a Lemelson-MIT type invention statement
  • run simulations of basic concepts using programs such as Interactive Physics
  • develop time line plans (Gantt charts) using Excel
  • develop a detailed materials list using Excel
  • make drawings: detailed (three views) and 3D  using CAD
  • build prototypes
  • assemble a final report which will sell the idea to potential investors.
  1. Prepare a design brief: The formal starting point of the design, states the expectations and design problem. Does not provide the solution.
  2. The design brief states the intended outcome and the major constraints within which it must be achieved.
  • Problem Statement - defines the problem to be addressed or solved by the design example: people confined to wheel chairs typically cannot go up or down stairs in them.

  • goal - describe what is to be accomplished by the design. example: produce a working prototype for evaluating possible volume production of a stair climbing wheel chair.

  • target market - define who is the customer to be served. example: handicapped adults

  • major constraints - which place constraints on design. example: laws, manufacturing costs, etc.

  • criterion - the criterion that a good design should meet. example: cost effectiveness, adequate battery life, quick recharge time


What is a design brief?

A design brief concisely describes the problem to be solved and the environment it exists in. The design brief is a starting point or initial proposal that describes what a solution should accomplish but does not describe the solution.


  1. Develop a specification from the design brief culminating in a final product design specification (PDS).

Contains evaluation criterion - a full list of of the criteria against which the design can be evaluated, including:

  • limits - define the range of performance
  • demands - requirements or features which must be met
  • wishes - requirements which should be met


What is the difference between a design brief and a PDS?

The PDS is developed from the design brief and is simply a more detailed and precise version of it. A PDS is completed before listing alternative solutions. PDSs are based on thorough research.


  1. Define and give examples of:
  • incremental design
  • radical design
  1. Explain how incremental and radical design can combine with incremental and radical thinking.
  • fiberglass pole for pole vaulting- incremental design change, radical performance improvement
  • hybrid engine - radical design change in power plant produces no change in driving performance or infrastructure requirements.
  • hydrogen fuel - incremental change in fuel causes radical change in automobile design and infrastructure requirements.


The Design Cycle Model

  1. Draw and explain the IB simple design cycle model (DMC).


  • Identifying a need or opportunity--design brief

  • Researching and specifications--PDS

  • Generating ideas--3 alternatives = minimum

  • Developing the chosen solution--drawings, simulations, calculations, model building, etc.

  • Realizing the chosen solution--building the prototype

  • Testing and evaluating the chosen solution


Insert alt text

IB Design Technology Diploma Program Guide, 2009, p. 46


Assessment -- Decision Matrix Exercise

IB Standard: DMC--Generating ideas


  1. Using internet resources such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook Select a minimum of 4 career choices that appeal to you.
  2. Select a minimum of four criterion you consider important in selecting a career and rate them from 1 to 5. It's okay to use a number more than once or not use a particular number. For example you could have two criterion rated as 4 and none rated as one. However, all criterion should not have the exact same rating.
  3. Evaluate your career alternatives from 1 to 5 against each of the criterion and use a spread sheet to create a decision matrix.
  4. Select a best career.

Deliverable: Place the Excel file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Individual.


  1. Explain why the IB simple design cycle is not linear, and why it is iterative in practice.


    • New information and ideas surface as the design process proceeds

    • customer requirements can change as the design process proceeds

    • Parts of the project will proceed in parallel and hence overlap


  2. Explain why elements of the model may differ in importance according to the particular design context.


    • expense

    • design and construction time

    • safety


Applications of The Design Cycle Model

  1. Outline three limitations of the IB simple design cycle.


    • assumes one activity does not start until another has finished -- no overlap

    • assumes no iteration

    • give equal weight to all activities

    Relevance: Even individuals who do not choose design related careers such as engineering or architecture will often have to interface with design professionals. Internet entrepreneur often need to design their web sites.

Essential Question: How do you generate design and invention ideas?

Generating Ideas

  1. Define constructive discontent. dissatisfaction with what exists and the desire to make the situation better.

  2. Describe the relevance of constructive discontent for designers.

  3. Define adaptation. a solution to a problem may be found by finding something similar from another context and adapting it.

  1. Describe the relevance of analogies to designers. Odd, remote or strange analogies used to stimulate new ideas. Examples:

  • Xerox machine - soot on snow

  • “cat’s eyes” in the middle of the road

  1. Use attribute listing.
    • Identify key attributes of a product or process 

    • think of ways to change, modify or improve each attribute.


    Activity for 4-Person groups:
    Improving the Umbrella
    1. Working as individuals, list the key attributes of an umbrella
    2. Combine the individual lists into a single list for the group.
    3. List ways to change each attribute
    4. Develop a new product that has the attributes of an umbrella but represents an improved design.
  1. Use morphological synthesis.

  • list of attributes along two sides of a 2D grid.

  • record how the attributes can be developed through new ideas in each of the cells

  1. Use  brainstorming.

  • done in a small group setting

  • all participants are given equal standing

  • participants interact with each other's ideas

  • criticism is deferred

  1. Use divergent thinking.

  • conceptual

  • problem focused - what is the problem?

  • generates alternatives

  • favors openendedness

  • used at the ideas generating phase and during development

  • used for radical design

  1. Use convergent thinking. Convergent thinking is analytical and solution focused, eg used at the research stage and during evaluation.

  • analytical

  • solution focused - how can the problem be solved?

  • evaluates alternatives

  • favors closure

  • used at research stage and during evaluation

  • used for incremental design

  1. Describe relationship of convergent and divergent thinking to the elements of the DCM.


Assessment -- Continuous Brainstorming

IB Standard: DMC--Generating ideas


  1. Generate and write a brief description of three invention ideas per week and record them in the Excel file provided.
  2. Evaluate another student's ideas each week and record your thoughts in their Excel file.


  1. Ideas have to be doable at least by NASA. Generally you will choose an item from the list to prototype for your major project due in the 3rd quarter.
  2. Ideas must solve a problem or fulfill a need for some identifiable group of potential customers.
  3. Weapon inventions are prohibited with the exception of devices designed to capture or control violent people with a minimum of harm.

Deliverable: Maintain the Excel file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Individual.

Relevance: The ability to generate ideas or alternative solutions is a powerful skill that can not only solve immediate problems but lead to successful careers or successful entrepreneurial ventures.


Essential Question: Why is communication a critical part of the design process?

Measuring Dimensions

  1. Correctly use rulers, squares, and dial indicating calipers to measure dimensions.

  2. State the estimated uncertainty in a measuring instrument's reading. Typically ± 1/2 (smallest scale division)


Design Communication

  1. Describe the purpose of freehand drawing in the design process. (Rapid communication and development of ideas).

  2. Describe the advantages of CAD (computer aided design).

  • Speeds prototyping and manufacturing. CAD drawings can often be fed directly into manufacturing equipment.

  • Shortens drawing time: dimensioning, for example is automated

  • Increases drawing accuracy: Eliminates much of the opportunity for human error. Dimensions can often be pulled directly off drawings.

  • Facilitates changes: There is no need to erase when making modifications and little to no chance of "losing scale" (in other words, making a drawing that does not exactly match the part's shape).

  1. Describe the disadvantages of CAD.

  • High learning curve

  • Expensive software

  • Demanding computer hardware and data storage demands. CAD files tend to be large.

  1. Name and describe the different types of drawings used in design communication.

  1. Orthographic Drawing: A 2D line drawing showing a front, top, and side view of an object, oriented exactly as shown in the example at right,  complete with dimensions.  Especially useful for manufacturing.

  • Hidden lines are dashed lines (1 point).

  • Dimension lines are thinner (1/2 point) than drawing lines (1 point).

  • Dimension line extensions from views do not touch the view.

  • Arrowheads on dimension lines are solid

  • Center lines: alternating long and short dashes the thickness of dimension lines

  • Lists materials of construction


  1. Isometric Drawing--frequently used by engineers: A 3D line drawing showing a part tilted at a specified angle. Parallel lines are represented as parallel. No effort is made to show perspective. Generally, hidden lines are not shown nor are dimensions given. Used primarily for representing how the part will look.

  2. (See example at right.)

  1. Perspective Drawing--frequently used by architects: A 3D drawing used for evaluating the appearance of a large object such as a building. The drawing accurately depicts the object as it will look to the human eye. For example, parallel lines, such as railroad tracks, going away from the viewer will appear to converge. The apparent reduction in the size of an object's parts that are further away from the viewer is called foreshortening. Hidden lines are not shown nor are dimensions given. colors, shading, and textures are often used in perspective drawings.

  2. Exploded Isometric Drawing: A 3D line drawing showing the parts of an object as though they have flow or "exploded" a short distance apart. Generally, hidden lines are not shown nor are dimensions given. The exploded drawing helps reveal how an object is assembled and helps show an object's interior.


  1. Use the basic drawing tools in Adobe Illustrator to create orthographic drawings.

Assessment -- Starman

IB Standard: There is no direct IB standard but this assessment will help familiarize students with Adobe Illustrator and this will be one of the main drawing packages used for various design projects.


  1. Using Adobe Illustrator create a human-like image out of  a star object.
  2. The image should have realistic looking colors and make use of gradients to give a 3D appearance.
  3. The figure should have correct human proportions..
  4. It is not necessary to draw a face hair or hands.
  5. Write a title in the shape of an oval above starman using the type on a path tool.

Deliverable: Place the completed Illustrator file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Individual.

Assessment -- Orthographic Drawing Exercise

IB Standard: Orthographic Drawing

Specifications: measure the dimensions of 3 different real world objects and sketch an orthographic drawing of each complete with dimensions. Use the sketch to create an orthographic drawing using Adobe Illustrator. The drawing must be properly dimensioned, show hidden lines and include all three views of the object.

Deliverable: Place the completed Illustrator file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Individual

Relevance: Learning how to make simple drawings using graphics software is a useful skill for almost any career path a student might choose. Aside from product design, graphics skill can be used in making presentations, poster, brochures, etc.

Essential Question: What is algorithmic thinking?

Using Algorithmic Thinking in Design

  1. Define algorithm.

  2. Draw a simple flow chart using symbols.

  • Parallelogram: input or output of information

  • Rectangle: step or operation in a process

  • Diamond: asks a question or makes a decision with a yes/no or true/false answer

Assessment -- Flow Chart of an Algorithm

IB Standard: Draw a simple flow chart using symbols.

Specifications: Using PowerPoint, create a flow chart of an algorithm that you commonly perform. The flow chart must contain at least 3 decisions, 5 steps, and one output.

Deliverable: Place the completed PowerPoint file in the IB Design Technology folder of your student drive.

Work Group: Individual

Relevance: Flow charts are commonly used in industry to describe processes and computer software systems. A basic knowledge of flow charts will be helpful to careers in business, computing, engineering, or manufacturing.


Essential Question: How do models differ from the real world situations they simulate?

Using Models in Design

  1. List key characteristics of  models:

  • Representations of reality

  • Represents selected features of a design.

  1. Outline the advantages and disadvantages mathematical models.

  Advantages Disadvantages
  Accuracy Limited applications
  Predictive power High skill required
  1. Outline the advantages and disadvantages of physical models.

  Advantages Disadvantages
  Allows Mechanical testing Hard to modify
  Accurate appearance Time consuming to build
  Detects clearance problems easily Scaling problems
  Detects fabrication and assembly problems  
  1. Describe how spread sheet software can be used in the development of mathematical models.

  • regression analysis

  • simulation using formulas

Assessment -- Mathematical Model

IB Standard: Describe how spread sheet software can be used in the development of mathematical models.

Background: The American college Board publishes data about the AP Statistics Exam passing rate vs. combined PSAT verbal and math scores. Using this data it is possible to predict the probability of passing the AP Exam for a student by knowing the student's PSAT data. A prediction can be made for every student in a class. The average of these predictions should indicate the passing rate for the class. This predicted passing rate can be used for teacher evaluation. If a teacher exceeds the passing rate by a significant amount, he or she can be considered above average.


  1. Using Excel, plot a graph of "probability of passing AP Statistics" vs. "combined math and verbal PSAT score".
  2. Fit this data with a 6th order polynomial model.
  3. Use this model to predict AP Statistics Exam passing rate for the simulated class shown below. Note you will need to use about 12 decimal places in the model's coefficients to get good results.

Deliverable: The spread sheet file with the graph, mathematical model, and estimate of class passing rate.

Name  PSAT Math PSAT Verbal
Bob 60 60
Martha 65 70
Juan 58 49
Jamal 68 72
Mary Sue 29 47
Carman 39 43
Herman 40 45
Silvia 48 53

Combined math and verbal PSAT scores Probability of passing AP Statistics
158 99.7
153 98.7
147 97
143 95.9
139 93.2
133 89.2
129 82.9
123 77.1
119 68.5
113 58.2
109 48.2
103 38
99 27
93 19.4
89 12.1
83 7.6
79 5.5
73 3.8
69 1.5

Relevance: Knowing how to create and use mathematical models is a powerful time-saving accuracy-improving tool that will be extremely useful in college and in a wide variety of careers including education, business, accounting, engineering, the computer professions, etc.

Summative Assessment: Test Objectives 1-30


Note: Items highlighted in this color are directly related to the 2009 IB Syllabus which is the set of standards for the class. In many cases the wording has been altered, but every attempt has been made to preserve the meaning. These objective, however, should not be considered a substitute for the actual syllabus.

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