Rethinking Disposable Plastics

Students are challenged to rethink and redesign a disposable plastic product to eliminate waste - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

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Lesson Overview

In this project, students will be challenged to rethink and redesign a disposable plastic product to eliminate waste. After a lesson starter video about plastic and its effect on the environment, students will be split into teams to go through a design workbook. Exercises include product life cycle research, interviewing people to create audience profiles, defining design criteria based on human feedback, ideation, sketching and participating in a 3D design video tutorial to gain the necessary skills to create their own unique prototypes. **Activities and templates inspired by LUMA Institute’s system of human-centered design methods. (

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 8-16. The curriculum is aligned to ISTE, NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

Resources Included in Project:

  • Example 3D model of a circular economy toothbrush concept (STL)

  • Design workbooks and activity templates (PDF and Google Docs)

        • Tinkercad and Fusion 360 tutorial videos guiding students in designing a circular economy toothbrush concept (MP4)

        • Self-assessment rubric (PDF and Google Docs)

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