30 May, 2023

How creative design is at the heart of woodworking at Northbridge

How creative design is at the heart of woodworking at Northbridge-How creative design is at the heart of woodworking at Northbridge-IMG_1997
How creative design is at the heart of woodworking at Northbridge

By Jesse Donnelly
Curriculum Leader - Design

MYP Design at Northbridge International School Cambodia encompasses many skills from many disciplines, and the main focus this semester for grade 8 has been woodwork.

Woodworking is an art that requires precision, patience, and creativity. It is a craft that has been passed down from generation to generation, and now, more than ever, it's gaining popularity among students who are eager to learn and develop their skills.


With the rise of sustainable practices, students are taking a keen interest in woodworking using recycled pallets. This not only helps in reducing carbon footprint but also provides a cost-effective solution for creating new items.


"Pallet to Product" is a unit that requires inquiry and experimentation in order to come up with a viable solution. Students are encouraged to explore the different types of pallets available and analyze their characteristics of the timber.


This inquiry-based approach helps students understand the properties of wood and how to manipulate it to create different designs. They learn about the different types of saws, sanders, and other tools needed to transform pallets into products.


Creativity is at the heart of woodworking. Students are encouraged to think outside the box and come up with unique designs that showcase their skills, using as much of the pallet as possible, thus reducing waste. They learn to look at pallets from a different perspective and identify the potential in each piece of wood.


With guidance from the teacher, the process begins with looking at existing products to stimulate ideas. A process of rough sketching that is developed into complete technical drawings, accompanied by concept models, allows the student to visualize the idea and determine whether it will be successful. This helps them understand the importance of the design process.


The process of transforming pallets into products is not just about creating new items; it's about developing skills that can be applied to future design units. Through the development of their ideas, students implicitly touch on a number of ATL skills which are a key pillar of the MYP framework.


By working with recycled materials, students learn about sustainability and how they can play a role in reducing waste. They learn about the importance of repurposing materials and how this can have a positive impact on the environment.


As this unit is the students first time creating large tangible products in Design, the excitement level during each class have been high. Here are some of the take-aways that students had from the unit. 


Ruby and Feiya: “This unit was really fun. We had limited materials and managed to make a cool dog house”


Tristan and Enyta: “It was fun to be able to creatively express our skills”


Sereiy Sure Sedeiy: “I think it was fun learning how to handle wood and create stuff with it”


Tina: “I enjoyed planning it all out. Brainstorming the designs on paper and seeing it then come to life is pretty cool”