Technology Design Process in Room Three

After learning about all the single use plastic in the world and about all the poor animals who die from plastic I felt sad. Mrs Thompson set us a challenge to design something to help solve the plastic problem. She showed us the design process and taught us about prototypes.

Written by Imogen, 8 years old

Later, when I was at the pool I needed a tissue. My mum handed me a tissue and I realised that the packet was single-use plastic. I had a lightbulb moment! I decided to design a reusable tissue pouch. My first prototype was made out of a tea box because I know cardboard is biodegradable. I decided to use glue because tape is made from plastic.

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Single use plastic vs my biodegradable cardboard pouch

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Tea box prototypes

My second Prototype was also made out of a tea box. It looked very nice, but it was too short. I had to cut off the bottom of the tissues. That got me thinking about the size. Mrs Farquhar suggested that I made one out of fabric. Quite soon after that, Emily came in with a prototype made out of a fabric called felt. This got me wondering about all the different materials I could use to make tissue pouches. I decided to make a tissue pouch out of felt, the material that Emily used. I could only hand sew, so I used string and a needle to make one.  

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Emily's felt prototype

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Hand sewn purses and pouches

I learned how to sew on the machine when Diana from Boomerang Bags came to Room 3 for a Boomerang Bags session. I sewed my next ones on the sewing machine. My first and second attempt didn't work out how I wanted them to. They were too tight and skinny. It was hard to fit in even one tissue. 

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Imogen sewing in class

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Machine sewn felt prototypes

I thought that I should use a different fabric. I also thought I should make it bigger. I used some cotton fabric and surprisingly, it worked very well. Mrs Thompson taught me how to zigzag around the edges to stop the edges fraying. It took a while to get the size we needed. 

The next problem I had was that I sewed it the wrong way, so I couldn't turn it inside out. You could see all the seams. The Boomerang Bags lady had taught us how to sew things inside out, so that you can’t see the seams. My next challenge was to sew one with the seams inside.

If you want to see my prototypes you can come to our Celebration Day, which is the fourth of July. I will be taking orders. There will be a contest to see who can guess how many stitches there are on one of my prototypes too! 

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Fabric prototypes

Imogen sewing in class2