Already with lots of time already spent designing, measuring, drawing and making lists of required materials the students were ready to start their first prototype today. With amazing speed, enthusiasm and a high level of concentration each student got underway and gathered up the resources required. Very quickly we found four teachers and one support staff member were at our maximum capacity (with barely time to breathe) as help was required to sort, cut, measure, drill and attach pieces together. Students seemed to know just which teachers ( or classrooms) around the school would have the tool they required or exactly where in the school a saw, some extra card or that roll of string that they didn’t know they needed might be. ( we know who to rely on in case of an emergency!) Their capacity to recall where they had seen things or who they thought would have the item that they suddenly required was something to be greatly admired.

Many of the students started to test their prototypes with just the bare chassis or wheels structure, already you could see them making changes and going back to retest before progressing further with making their design. They stood beside the track and watched and discussed with each other what they would do next. For me this was the BIG takeaway success of the day as already I could see their fascination with how the cars worked and how they could improve on them, ( the process and mechanics of the design) rather than the focus being on how the finished derby car would look. WIN! WIN!WIN!

It was nice to have a breather in the form of a break one hour in, it gave us time to regroup as teachers and quickly discuss our strategy for managing the making sessions. A quick trip to Bunnings to buy some extra tools after school was one decision we made and I am already looking forward to the next session. It was fantastic to listen to many of the students conversations about what they were going home to look for or try out, I love it when learning breaks down those barriers between home and school and students have so much enthusiasm for their learning task that they are self motivated to continue the process outside of school.

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