We were thrilled to welcome students in grades 6-10 and their families to our second Design Expo and introduce them to our hands-on maker curriculum! We were also delighted that Franklin student ambassadors joined in to help attendees at our design challenge stations and to share their experiences with prospective students.
Jaymes Dec, Director of Innovation and Design Teacher, developed the Expo to showcase the creative power of many of the digital fabrication tools, machines, and materials that we have in our state-of-the-art makerspace — and some of the innovation skills that students can learn to solve a problem or build and create whatever they want.
While student attendees dove into the different challenges, their families toured our makerspace and brand-new classrooms, met our leadership team, and enjoyed a glimpse into just some of what sets Franklin apart from other high schools.
Our “Ready, Set, Design” station modeled the prototyping process. After a quick introduction to the process, participants were challenged to solve an open-ended problem or challenge with time restraints and everyday materials, ranging from designing something to help wake you up in the morning and to keep your hands warm in the cold, to something to make music and bring joy to someone else.
At our 3D portraiture station, attendees were able to make their own 3D digital portrait with the help of scanning software. Attendees then received the file so they could create a 3D-printed bust of themselves at home.
Participants custom-designed their own tote bag with whatever words, graphics, and images they chose at the Totally Tote Bags station. After selecting their components, they used heat-transfer vinyl and a vinyl cutter and applied them onto the canvas. Our Director of Admissions, Diana Stravoiu, also created her own bag with “Franklin Is Fab!”
Our Gami-bots challenge combined origami and basic circuits — participants built simple frog robots that move in a circular direction.
Students assembled a circuit board that lights up at the Solder Station, where they learned about basic circuits and soldering.
Finally, a favorite from our first Expo — the Paper Airplane challenge — made its return! Participants tested their folding and launching skills using motorized launchers.
"We hope that the variety of activities offered something engaging for everyone,” said Mr. Dec. “This Expo would not have been possible without our student volunteers, who did such a great job facilitating the activities and sharing their enthusiasm for design and technology. As their teacher, it made me really proud.”