Designing In Response to Community Needs

Seventh graders Tess, Brody, and Finn ’22 tell us all about their project in Ms. Ngo’s From Idea to Implementation elective.

Can you describe your project? What was the problem and who was the customer?

Our problem was that the junior kindergartners would get their clothes wet and wouldn’t have anywhere to dry them so we created a PVC box which is used as a drying rack. It is stringed and is able to have clothes on it for drying.

Can you describe the process?

We planned out our project and researched on websites about string and PVC pipes from Amazon and Home Depot. After that we made prototypes and figured what would work best.  At first we calculated the price and we were planning on buying PVC but we heard that we already had some so we didn’t need to. We then made our decision and we got the PVC cube. We drilled holes in the PVC and stringed it. We delivered it to the JK’rs.

What skills did you learn during the process?

We learned how to collaborate, prototype, listen to feedback and use power tools such as drills.

What did you enjoy about the process?

  • Brody: I enjoyed building the drying rack.
  • Tess: I enjoyed all of us collaborating as a team so well because it makes the process easier when we work well together. 
  • Finn: I enjoyed giving the junior kindergartners the drying rack.

What challenges did you face during the project?

  • Brody: The string being tight enough.
  • Tess: We thought the string wouldn’t be tight or thick enough but it worked well. 
  • Finn: It was hard to drill the holes into the PVC box.

What was it like to design for someone else?

  • Brody: It was a little hard, because they weren’t too clear in what they wanted.
  • Tess: It was really nice because it’s always fun to see the happy faces of the people receiving the item.
  • Finn: it was fun and interesting to hear their feedback and what they wanted us to change about the box.

What were two takeaways from the project?

  • Brody: I learned how to use what we have to make the drying rack without purchasing anything.
  • Tess: I learned how to use my resources and how to communicate with others to find materials. I also learned how to prototype.
  • Finn: I learned how to reuse items like the PVC pipes we used and I learned how to make a drying rack that is light and easy to move for free.