Tactile Tangrams

Students design tactile tangram puzzles for people with visual impairments - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

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Lesson Overview

In this creative project, students will develop their spatial and mathematical relationship skills before designing a tactile tangram puzzle for people with visual impairments. The lesson beings by providing context about tangram puzzles in a class presentation that features interactive activities. Students then go on to define a user and specific design criteria, before using CAD tutorial videos to assist them in developing models for 3D printing. Once 3D printed, puzzles are tested and iterated upon by simulating visual impairments. Finally, instructions and rules are created so that sighted users can read them to visual impairment players.

Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, english, design technology, art & design 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.

In this project students will:

  • develop spatial and mathematical relationship skills

  • develop empathy for people with visual impairments by considering their characteristics and abilities to create a list of design criteria

  • use design-thinking and sketching skills to develop a concept for a tactile tangram puzzle

        • use CAD software and 3D printers to manufacture a tactile tangram puzzle through an iterative process

        • develop their tactile discrimination skills by playing tactile tangram puzzles

        • use appropriate and respectful language to develop a set of puzzle instructions that sighted users can read to players with visual impairments

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