Designing Better Bottles

Students learn about the circular economy before rethinking and redesigning the way we produce and use bottles - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

Apply for a FREE trialSign Up Today

Lesson Overview

In this creative project, students will learn about the circular economy before rethinking and redesigning the way we produce, use and dispose of bottles. Through a series of video animations, a hands-on card sorting activity and a case-study presentation, students will be provided with an overview of the harmful plastics industry, together with an insight on how the circular economy concept can design out waste and positively redefine the life cycle of plastic bottles.

In the main part of the lesson, students are guided by a student portfolio and video tutorial to develop a prototype bottle that is 'zero-waste' and uses circular economy principles. Ideas are transferred to CAD software before being 3D printed and presented to the rest of the class.

*With thanks to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Splosh for their contributions to this lesson plan*

Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, biology, design technology, geography, citizenship and computing. The material can be adapted for ages 10-15. The curriculum is aligned to NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

In this project students will:

  • develop an understanding of the life cycle of plastics and their implications on natural resources, the environment and society

  • develop an understanding on the circular economy and how its principles can design out waste and positively redefine the life cycle of plastic bottles

  • use research, design-thinking and sketching skills in teams to develop a concept for a 'zero-waste' bottle

        • use 3D modelling software to design a 'zero-waste' bottle prototype

        • use 3D printers to manufacture a 'zero-waste' bottle prototype

        • analyse their work and the work of their peers to suggest improvements to their designs

                Enrolling in PrintLab Classroom will give you complete access to the teacher training material and downloadable lesson documents.