MDE Students Bring a Prototype to Life and to Market

Sep 30, 2020 | Come to Play, Design Thinking, IMAMUSTANG, Impact, Innovation, Maker, Multiplier, Share the Well, Upper School News

Throughout the first few weeks of school, Mount Vernon students, faculty, and staff were adjusting to the “new normal” with guidelines around learning in-person, at school. When it comes to serving lunch, FLIK was also tinkering with their process and making adjustments when needed.

Using thermal bags, similar to pizza delivery bags, to keep meals hot, FLIK noticed that as they began to hand out lunches, the bags lost their form. To help the bags to keep their shape, FLIK enlisted the help of master tinkerer, Director of Maker, Design, and Engineering (MDE) Jim Tiffin.

After coming up with a possible solution, Mr. Tiffin partnered with his Grade 10 MDE students to bring the idea to life.

Originally thought up as a “lunchbox skeleton”, the students came up with the official name Matlåda Supports for their product – an Ikea-ish name that is Swedish for “lunchbox”. With each student taking a part in the production, the supports were put together in an assembly line fashion.

The lunchbox supports aren’t only being used at Mount Vernon, but were also sent to Pace Academy and Heathwood Hall in Columbia, South Carolina, which created a new opportunity for the designers – creating Ikea-like assembly instructions to be included in the shipment of supplies.

Not only did this project help FLIK more efficiently serve lunches, but it also provided students with more familiarity with Fusion3605, the MDE computer assisted design software of choice. Additionally, it allowed students to gain a deeper understanding and comfort-level with the tools in the Upper School MDE Labs.

All of this prep work will ultimately lead to the students final project, which involves the Preschool and The Frontier. And for that, you will have to stay tuned!

For updates on MDE projects, check out Jim Tiffin on Twitter!