Today was Design Day, where the Grade 10s got introduced to our first Design project of the year, integrated with Science – constructing a heart valve. For the majority of the day, we worked in groups to research, come up with ideas and make prototypes, which were tested with water to evaluate its success.
Though rotated, a photo of our successful prototype can be seen below.
To see my key takeaways from today, watch the YouTube video below:
If I could do it all again, I would try to be more creative and participate more in my group. As I am not very strong in Science, particularly Biology, I found it rather hard to grasp the concepts and to think of interesting and effective ways to recreate a heart valve. This meant that I was not able to participate and contribute as much as I wanted, which is not how an effective team member should act. Throughout the day, I seemed to be stuck in terms of ideas, but nonetheless I was still enthusiastic and excited with regards to the process.
As to the way my thoughts and perceptions have changed from today, I think that I now know more about what is expected of us, as well as what our final product could potentially look like. I also was able to get a better idea of how complicated concepts can be simplified and replicated using everyday materials, allowing me to broaden my views.
Finally, I think that the elements that worked well in our prototype was the fact that minimal materials were used, and though it took multiple tries to be successful, we were able to learn from our mistakes and achieve our goal in the end. The prototype consisted of four materials – a tube, rubber bands, a latex glove and a balloon. With a small hole punctured in the balloon, we were able to make it so that when water was poured in, it would go into the glove, but when it was flipped over, the hole in the balloon was hidden and covered, thus preventing the water from leaking out the other way. Even though the design was rather simple, it facilitated with demonstrating the function of a heart valve and allowed for a successful trial with the water.