In groups of two or three students, Mr.Robinson’s Drafting One class worked on a project where they had to build their dream chair by using basic drafting skills they teach in course.
In addition to the class skills used, it also taught the creative design process, teamwork, collaboration, problem solving and how to communicate your design ideas. These are skills that are highly sought after by employers in the creative and manufacturing industries.
“The students spent about two and a half weeks brainstorming and developing their ideas,” said Robinson.
The projects required the students to converge three existing technologies into a chair. Mr. Robinson asked that they research the technologies independently and think about how they could blend these things into a chair that would be fun and functional. It had to be ergonomically designed for ease of use and had to possess an artistic element or a wow factor.
“I was truly amazed at the ideas that they were able to develop,” said Robinson. “We had levitating chairs, baby loungers, gaming chairs, chairs with speakers, ipods, coolers, refrigerators and George Foreman grills,”
When asked the reaction of the students to his project, Robinson said, “I think overall the students enjoyed this type of hands on, applied, project-based sort of learning. It allowed them to be creative and at the same time gave the class a vehicle to reach the learning objectives mandated by the State of North Carolina,”
“I learned how to apply the concepts Mr.Robinson taught us into an assignment,” said Kimberly Stokley, a student who participated in the project.
While conducting and looking over the project, Robinson also learned a few things. “I discovered that many students struggled with the idea of developing something new on their own. They were not use to being encouraged to think and take control of their learning. However, once they got over the initial hurdles, they performed extremely well,” he said.