An interdisciplinary investigation on design and sustainable materials - Year 7 students in 3 departments: Geography, Mathematics & Art

In Middle School, students have metegoles to play during recess and everyone enjoys matches during break times. At the beginning of the year, we organised a competition were teachers and students played together. We had so much fun!
During the year, we started to notice that the metegol balls were lost since there is no specific place to store them. This real life situation sparked the idea of ??the project and students were invited to solve this problem and contribute to the Middle School community.

The purpose of this project was to create a new, sustainable and creative packaging design for 3 standard metegol balls. The students worked in teams of 3 or 4 designing and constructing the box.

Within their Maths lessons students had to:
  • create three different designs,
  • draw the 2D net of these designs,
  • calculate their total surface area
  • calculate their volume

During their Geography lessons, students had to carry out a research on the different materials options. They needed to bear in mind both practical aspects, such as weight and the ability to last a long time without undergoing damage, with the sustainable characteristics of the material. They were encouraged to think about the different steps of the product cycle, from the raw materials end, through production and transport requirements, to the end of life point. Students were also asked to produce supporting documentation to explain why some materials had to be disregarded as a consequence of their investigation.

Each group had to choose one of those designs, and the most sustainable materials to be used. Building took place during the Art class. During those lessons, teachers of Maths & Art worked together helping them with the challenge of constructing a box with  materials, such as wood or cardboard.

Collaboration comes together with presentation skills.  In this sense, students had to create a presentation showing all the steps of their investigation and write a product certificate describing the product design, the materials chosen and the way to handle and convene the use of the product. The latter, as metegol balls are highly demanded during most break times!

As there are also metegoles in Primary , two students from each tutor group went to visit 3rd grade to explain them about the project and to leave some of the boxes and certificates to be used by them.