Think of an object that you want to redesign. Maybe it is a toy that broke easily, shoes that slip, scissors that hurt your hand or the ugliest lamp you've ever seen. O Use your pencil as your object!
Think about your object. (Your pencil) What is it supposed to do? Is it attractive? Does it make you want to use it? What are the problems?
In your notebook, divide the page in half. On one side list all the things the object does well—the things you like about it. On the other side, list the things the object does poorly—the things you dislike about it.
Think about your two lists. What could you change to improve your object? Jot down your ideas.
O Time to start drawing! Industrial designers draw plans of objects to tell manufacturers how to make them. O Grab a piece of drawing paper and make a drawing of your object. Show the important details. (Label it!)
O Note the changes you want to make on your drawing. Include changes in size, shape, materials, and color. O Draw and name your redesigned object. O Explain how your changes have improved the object.
Getting Started with Your Own Invention! Get a folder or notebook to be used… O To write down all of your ideas as you brainstorm. O To draw and label a sketch of your invention. O To write down what happened when you tested or tried out your invention. O As a place to keep any information that you found to show that your invention hasn’t already been created! * This folder or notebook will be placed with your invention and display board for judging!
Identify a Problem! O Think about something that is a problem or “bugs you.” O My lunchbox is a problem. O In your notebook or journal, write down why it is a problem for you. O My water bottle falls on my sandwich. O Tell how you decided on this problem. O I was tired of eating a squished sandwich.
Brainstorm for Solutions and Select a Solution! O Think about different ways to solve your problem. O (I could put a coozie inside to hold my water bottle, I could make a holder on the outside of my lunchbox to hold my water bottle, I could put dividers in my lunchbox for each item, etc.) O Write down all of the ideas that you came up with in your notebook or journal. O Pick the idea that you think will work the best! O Check the Internet, magazines, books, or just talk to people to make sure that this hasn’t already been invented. **If it has… pick something different or change it up a little bit.
Make a Sketch of the Solution! O In your notebook or journal and on your display board, draw a picture of your invention and label it. O Does the sketch show what your invention looks like? O Does the sketch include words to explain the parts of the invention? Is it labeled? O Is there a sentence or two in your own words explaining how the invention works?
Make a Model of Your Invention! O Make a model of your invention: (Build it!) O Is your model as well constructed as you can make it? O Does it look like your sketch? O Is it put together so that it stays together?
Test and Evaluate Your Design! Test and evaluate your invention: (Try it out to see if it works!) O Test it out yourself at least 3 times… 5 is better! (Or,…Test it out with other people!) O In your notebook or journal, write down what happened each time you tried it out. (Did it work every time you tried it or just some of the time?)
Communicate Your Results! Make a display board that includes: O The title of your invention (What is it called?) O The purpose of your invention (What problem does it solve?) O A labeled sketch of your invention ** Optional: You may want to include a photograph of your invention or a photograph that shows you testing out your invention. **Remember… The purpose of the board is to “show off your work” in a fun and creative way!
Communicate Your Results! (Continued!) Talk about your Invention: O Can you explain all the steps you went through to make this invention? (In other words, can the judges tell that this is your invention? You should be able to talk about every part of it…The brainstorming, the selecting a solution, etc.) O You should also be able to: O Show them your sketch and explain it. O Be able to talk about the actual invention and how you tested it. O Show them any articles or Internet information that you found when making sure no one had already done your invention!