It all started with an idea… of collaboration about shape and space.
The goal was to create a 3-dimensional package that could safely hold a china teapot. Once complete, the teapot and package would be shipped to another international school. The skills were geometry and measurement. Students would need to design and create 2-dimensional shapes that would be put together to create a 3-dimensional package. They had to measure the teapot’s dimensions, the sides and then make sure it all fit together nicely. Time needed was about 3 weeks.
We started with a field trip to Motomachi, the local shopping street to check out packaging. What shape were packages?
Students discovered that packages came in all shapes and sizes, and they talked through the language: cylinders, rectangular prisms, hexagonal prisms, cubes..
Students then came back to the classroom and began designing their idea. Using paper and pencil and then a computer application, Google Sketchup, they tried out their idea. Google Sketchup allowed them to expand their idea into 3-D and to see if their scheme would work.
After they created a unique, yet sturdy design, students began to sketch everything out on cardboard–each of the 2-D shapes. Slowly the package began to take shape.
One team’s design was a cylinder. Another one aimed for a octagonal prism. Another one thought they would go with a rectangular prism inside another rectangular prism. All were different. Finally, students painted and adding the finishing creative touches. They were all aiming for unique–something eye-catching.
Students finished their packages, and everyone voted for the best 2 packages. The packages were sent to Sendai by mail, and…arrived several days later. Here are the winning teapot packages. Joseph, Kanna and Hanna’s cylindrical design with special inside stability. Unique, yet functional.
And then there was Valdemar, Saya, and Brandon’s design. They went for a small package with another box inside. Light, yet sturdy. They also designed a logo.
We got the results today, June 14th. The teapots both arrived safely. The packages were barely dented. The students at Tohoku International School reflected on the design through a video. A great project!