Design Criterion D – ‘In A Heartbeat’ Reflection


This is my final heart valve prototype. The way it functions is that water can only go through this end of the prototype and out this section, labelled ‘atrium’ and ‘ventricle’ respectively. There are small downwards slits cut into the fingers of each glove that permit the water to go through. When the prototype is rotated, the water cannot go back from the ventricle into the atrium, as the string that I taped to the fingers of the glove pulls the fingers to the edge, and doesn’t let it move, and also because the cuts were extremely minuscule and there wasn’t a guide that directed the water into the slits.

I changed and added many components to my final prototype design, for example the information panel and the various labels and markings you can see here. I decided to add an information panel because when I looked back on my design specifications to make sure that my prototype fit these requirements, I saw that one thing I was missing was information about the actual heart. So, I decided to add a small panel with an illustration of a heart valve that I drew to inform my target audience, the seventh graders about the heart valve. This was extremely useful to them, as they gathered much of their information from the panel’s explanations. Also, I added extra labels onto the actual prototype to add to the and accuracy of the model. One thing that I would improve on if I were to create this prototype again is that I would use hot glue to seal the edges of the information panel better so that water wouldn’t seep through and cause the black cardboard to bleed over the paper.

Design Day Term 1

Grade 10 is the last year of the MYP Design project, and today, we had our first Design project of the year. This Design project is joint with Science, and we have to create a model of a valve in a heart, and so our Design Day was based around that and creating a prototype of a valve, which we then tested if it worked with water.

My group’s prototype was a design that we came up with when we were discussing who’s design to use. An image can be seen below (though rotated) – 


Our prototype consisted of six materials – a ping pong ball, a plastic sheets, tape, hot glue, rubber band and a PVC pipe. I think that the most efficient element in my prototype was the combination of a rubber band and tying it to the plastic sheet that was shaped as a funnel. This created the ‘one-way’ valve effect which made our design successful. The criteria that we had to keep in mind was simple: water must be able to only go one way. So, when we poured water into the ‘open’ end of our first prototype, the water went in swiftly like intended, and when we turned it around, the water flowed down the sides and there was no water on the inside of the plastic tube. 

My key takeaways from today’s Design Day can be seen in the video below:

As for what I would do if I could do it all again – I would most likely clarify my ideas and try to be more creative with my designs, as I forgot to consider some of the major ‘must-haves’ in my design, for example the ‘one way’ component of the valve. I also think that I could have been more creative as my final prototype draft design wasn’t very clear and the design would be very difficult to create as it had so many parts. I would have tried to make it more minimalistic but more efficient.

What I learnt from today’s Design Day was essentially more information on the actual project, what is expected of us and most of all – how to create an actual model and what to consider in order to have a functioning and interactive model with simple materials.