Practical Prototype

Category: Prototype
Author: Calum Crosbie
Facilited by the teacher
The aim is to develop the skills needed to build a prototype.
1 day
Project Groups


  1. The teacher writes the aim on the whiteboard and outlines the task to the students.
  2. Students organise themselves into 2 groups – A and B.
  3. Group A are tasked with disassembling a given physical object e.g. a Lego or Meccano model.
  4. Group A should take note of the steps followed in disassembling the model and list all the materials used. They then create a set of instructions to reassemble the model.
  5. Group B then follows the instructions to assemble the model.
  6. Using a different model, the disassembling and reassembling roles are then repeated this time Group B dissembles and Group A reassembles.
  7. A session at the end should review the exercise and highlight any issues that arose from the instructions in the construction of the models. Discussions could highlight the type of materials used in various parts of the models.


The models selected should not be over complex to allow the tasks to be completed within the timescales.

This activity creates awareness of the materials needed and the importance of having a clear set of instructions to complete the tasks. The discussion at the end should encourage students to think about the sourcing, design and suitability (strength, flexibility etc.) of materials for their prototypes. This could highlight the use of certain processes or materials e.g. CAD design, digital printing, Shapelock* etc in the students own prototype model.