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Peanut butter milling


Brainstorm a list of time-consuming household jobs that were done by hand in the past, but are now done with the help of a machine. Think of some jobs that are still done by hand.
Choose one household machine (e.g. a vacuum cleaner) and trace its development from the earliest mechanical design to the present day. Indicate how each design change made the product more useful.

Examine the construction of a product you use regularly at school or at home (e.g. a pencil case, a desk, a lamp). Make sketches of design improvements you would make so that the product met your needs better. Annotate your sketches to explain your design decisions.

Compare two similar mechanical / electrical products, one of which has been designed with sustainability in mind. Make a simple graphic display to highlight the differences.

The average household will have a large number of electric motors - e.g. in central heating pumps, videos, cassette players, personal stereos, CD players, most electrical kitchen equipment, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, power tools, electric clocks (analogue rather than digital), electric toys, computers (fans, CD drives) and so on. Make a list of all the motors in your house and where they are used.

In the drive towards more sustainable living, it would be good if the same motor could be used for a number of different purposes. Can you design a sustainable appliance, where the motor can be used for more than one purpose? Your folder should include a design brief, initial ideas and a developed design proposal, with an exploded drawing and a presentation drawing.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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