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Scribble bugs


Core National Curriculum links


Main engineering principles

  • Pupils take ownership of the design and make process


A series of lessons


System thinking, Adapting, Creative problem solving, Visualising, Improving

EDP stages

Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve

Resources required

For scrappy scribble bug - plastic cartons, masking tape, felt tips, motors, batteries, battery holder, wires, counterweight, double sided tape/ foam.

Possible resources for design development - paper, pencils, cardboard of various thickness, glue guns, scissors, craft knives, safety rulers, cutting mats. 

Possible resources for individual making (this needs to be a flexible list so that students can have options to allow for independence)

Materials - 3mm acrylic in variety of colours, MDF/ Styrofoam for formers, HIPS plastic sheet, sticky back vinyl, masking tape, felt tips/ wire for the legs. motors, batteries, battery holder, wires, counterweight, double sided tape/ foam.

Machines/ tools - vacuum former, profile cutter, drill, fret saw, belt sander, files.

Paper roll for testing scribble bugs.

Summary of activity

The aim of this resource, is to develop EHoM’s through the use of tinkering to allow students to take ownership of the design and make process. 

To open the activity

Lesson 1 - Show students what a scribble bug is. DO NOT SHOW HOW IT IS MADE!
On each table should be all the resources needed to make a scribble bug eg, 1 container, battery, motor, motor holder, wire, battery clip, batteries, masking tape, glue stick and 4 felt tips.
Students will have 10 minutes to work with their group to try to plan how to make the doodle bug. Allow students to study the example as needed.
Explain to students that the example will be hidden and that they have 30 minutes to figure out how to make the ‘scribble bug’.
10 minutes testing and modification.
All groups to place their doodle bug on the paper covered area and turn on to create a BIG doodle.

The main activity

Lesson 2 - Design development

Reflect on modification points from previous lessons plenary. What did they learn from the task?

Students to design own scribble bug. Thinking carefully about aesthetics, function and manufacture. Remind students of communication techniques does not have to be drawn designs, modelling could be used to help students think about how it will be made 3dimensionally.

Peer assessment. WWW/ EBI comments about the design (not quality of work)

Lesson 3 - Tinkering
Say what you see. Images on board. Students to guess the keyword (names of tools and machines).

Teacher to discuss range of tools and machines to suggest possible use and recap health and safety. Students to take notes to help with own planning.
Students to produce a plan of making.
Students will  make their own scribble bugs.

Target setting for next practical. What do you need? Is there anything you need to know?

To finish the activity

Testing – students to test their scribble bugs on paper roll. 
Peer assessment – students give feedback to 3 other students during the testing.
Review – students to reflect on own testing and peer feedback. 
Modifications - Students communicate further modifications.
Blog - student workbook to reflect on the EHoM's developed throughout the project. 

Learn from me (what worked well for us)

To allow for independence throughout the making having a range of materials available is important to give choice.

© The University of Manchester