Activity 4: In the Loop

This design-and-make project, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, provides hands on experience of working with materials, using CAD/CAM for design, and an opportunity for students to manufacture interesting products while addressing many circular economy concepts. The activity explores the use of materials, the principle of materials recovery and how products can be designed and made to be made again, reusing materials with nothing lost to the system. Using the example of small, cast pewter jewellery, students manufacture products that can be remade or use materials that can be returned to the technical nutrient cycle. Materials used for the mould raise questions about feeding back into the biological cycle, and the opportunity and challenges this presents. The use of energy is considered, although in the school workshop it is not yet practical to use renewable sources to create the heat necessary for casting metal. Design and technology concepts include: • Product design • CAD/CAM • Casting Circular economy concepts include: • Biological and technical nutrient cycles • Designing for materials recovery • Making your own Cradle to Cradle® materials The activity could be extended further within different subjects: Science: properties of materials Art and design: style and fashion aspects of the products.

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