Rethinking the Plastic Toothbrush

Students are challenged to rethink and redesign the plastic toothbrush to eliminate plastic 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 the plastic toothbrush to eliminate plastic 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 developing a questionnaire to gather information about consumer behaviour, ideation, sketching and participating in a 3D design video tutorial to gain the necessary skills to create their own unique prototypes.

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

  • go through a human-centred design and research process, including the analysis of questionnaire data, to acquire information to inform their zero-waste toothbrush designs

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

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

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

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

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