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How design provides real world experiences and current technology opportunities

By Geri Trueman & Marty Lawless

The grade 10 students have been given the chance to show their design expertise in the first semester by making a functional product for a client. The unit challenges them further by asking them to use up-cycle techniques (i.e., repurposing discarded materials into new items) in the construction of design solutions for real clients from the school community.

They practice their communication skills through learning what the client wants specifically and translating the expectations into viable plans. New and interesting tools are in the design lab this year to help complete the projects including a heavy-duty band facer for simplifying sanding surfaces.


Students in grade 9 are exploring their place in the virtual world by discussing the Internet and how to use it correctly to benefit their future. They are learning web design using current HTML syntax, as well as styling concepts, to present an autobiography of their accomplishments and dreams in a modern medium. With this knowledge and exploring current events, the students discover how important their digital presence becomes.


The purpose for grade 8 this semester is to design for a particular group, in this case, younger kids, to consider the different expectations when making design solutions.  The students are designing toys for 5 to 10 year olds with a focus of having an educational or developmental skill incorporated into the use of the toy.


Grade 7 start their second year of MYP Design trying their handing at solving social-infrastructural urban planning issues in Phnom Penh in order to create improved equilibrium in the social equity of its inhabitants.  

They work with satellite images of Phnom Penh’s layout and street views, pick apart statistics regarding pollution, health and education and delve into research for progressive clean energy solutions and urban layout in order to deliver a digital drawing of their solution to scale using SketchUp.


Grade 6 are exploring the cyclical Design process, practising real world problem-solving skills and paper engineering skills in creating an entertaining or educational pop-up book for the Library users.

They work in teams and therefore build on their social collaborative and communication skills. Up next for them will be CAD (Computer Aided Design) for 3D printing! And this will be a breeze thanks to the newly purchased super robot the Ultimaker 2+!


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