Design Technology KS1 & KS2
An important idea to grasp in Design
Technology KS2 is the way 3D objects and places can be represented on
paper by 2D drawings, and children begin to learn this rather difficult
concept in Design Technology KS1. A
children’s educational software like Spex is an ideal tool to get these ideas
across and can be combined with traditional methods of teaching to
introduce and reinforce the children’s understanding. Using simple 3D
Design software children also gain experience of scale, proportion and
symmetry in a practical context.
Spex Classic is a simple software to design places in 2D Plan View and
see them in the 3D View. Design rooms in the home with Spex, a kitchen, bathroom,
bedroom and lounge. Design a classroom, a Moonbase, a Garden and other
places too. Set a room size and a budget and display the objects in the
design on a simple spreadsheet.
With Spex children can becomes an interior designer, using
graphics to design and furnish the rooms in a house. This task involves
making predictions, decisions and plans, and exploring the possibilities
of the situation.
Simple 3D Design
Children start the design process by thinking about the uses a room is
put to and who uses it, deciding how big the room will be, where to put
the windows and doors, what furniture is needed, where it will be
positioned, and what colour scheme to have.
As the planning process goes on children can switch to the 3D view
of the room layout and decide whether anything needs to be changed. He
or she can then switch back to the plan view to alter it, and when the
plan is right, print it out.
Design Technology Software in Schools
Spex, is an easy 3D Design
Technology Software and was introduced to help children from
age 5 to 12 get started with some important design concepts and skills.
As children work in the area of Design Technology and bring designs to
life, they start to see the reason for planning a project before you go
on to the construction stage. The planning stage is the opportunity to
discover the flaws in an idea before you invest time and materials in
The computer combined with Spex simple 3D design software enables
projects to be undertaken that may have been too difficult before. With
an appropriate children’s design software like Spex, kids can use the
computer screen to design a house interior in 2D, and then view it in
3D. This is a good introduction to computer aided design for younger
children, as it deals with settings and objects children already
understand and are familiar with. And those children who have particular
difficulty with both writing and drawing will be able to produce results
which are just as good as the rest of the class.
Young children will agree that a room needs furniture which is
functional according to what the room is used for eg beds in the
bedroom. They may not know the meaning of words like symmetrical and
proportion but they know whether a door and windows are sensibly
positioned and ‘look right’. So the first thing to think about is what
kind of room it is, next to plan it, including thinking about safety and
the size and shape of the room.
With Spex design and technology software the furniture and fittings can
be moved around until the child is satisfied with the arrangement, and
the room design is printed out in both 2D plan and 3D. A simple project
like this covers a lot of ground; space, scale, perspective, plan, shape
and again, symmetry and proportion all spring to mind. But above all, it
is fun, the most inept youngster can achieve impressive results, and he
or she will want to have another go, and then another!
Older children can use this kind of design technology software for more
sophisticated planning and room design, perhaps with financial budgets.
Programs like Spex are very easy to use and fun. You can use Spex to
design a much larger environment, perhaps with a scientific or
historical theme, design a Moonbase or a tomb for Tutankhamun, a
Playground or a Town for example.
In addition to its educational value in Design Technology, Spex software
has cross curricular applications in ICT and maths, being an excellent
way to introduce children to Computer Modelling,
and Graphical Modelling.
"Spex is Ace!
but I guess
M.T. Bishops Cleeve Primary School.