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Designing Better Bottles

Students learn about the circular economy before rethinking and redesigning the way we produce and use bottles

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**This lesson is part of The PrintLab Classroom lesson portal. To view details or to get access to the full portal, CLICK HERE**




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.



Enrolling in the lesson will give you complete access to the teacher training material and lesson documents. This includes content to help you prepare and deliver the lessons along with design tutorials so you become familiar with the process prior to teaching it in the classroom.


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



Project Length

The full lesson spans over 7 sessions lasting 1 hour each. The process can be adapted to run the project in shorter time periods by skipping sections of your choice.


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.


Learning Criteria

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


Equipment List

Each student will require:
1 x laptop/computer with mouse and internet access to use Tinkercad software

1 x pen/pencil


The teacher will require:
1 x 3D printer and PLA filament (http://weareprintlab.com/products)
1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access and slicing software (or Polar Cloud) for the 3D printer

Post-it notes (set of 2 different colours required for each team of 4-5 students)