More than 2500 homes were lost in the 2019-20 bushfire season, along with many human lives. As communities slowly rebuild, conventional thinking is being challenged in order to find a way to make buildings more fire resistant so that these losses won’t be as severe in the future.
In this unit of lessons, students will be challenged to undertake evidence-based research embedded in a context of real-world practice to create practical solutions that improve people’s lives.
Teachers will use the Design Process to scaffold students through the steps of:
- engaging with communities impacted by bushfires,
- defining the problems posed by living and building in bushfire-affected areas,
- pursuing the latest scientific evidence,
- designing housing that addresses flammability concerns.
The Beyond the Bushfires series brings the words of scientists who are actively involved in research and science communication into classrooms all over Australia. Students will explore evidence-based research embedded in a context of real-world practice. Thank you to the Ian Potter Foundation, in partnership with The Conversation, for generously supporting the development of these lessons.
The Design Process
This approach is used to break down a large project into manageable chunks. Architects, designers, engineers, builders, scientists, and creative thinkers use the design process to identify problems, focus their thinking, and create innovative solutions supported by best practice.
Advantages to this process include allowing students to have more input into their learning and a sense of greater understanding due to becoming experts in their chosen field.
However, some students might find it difficult to switch to self-directed learning and may require extra support to navigate this new dynamic and model. In order to help students gain confidence and more information can be found here.
The Design Process has five phases:
Students gain an understanding of the problems people face and how they’re impacted when they do not have an adequate response, setting aside what they think they know about the world to gain real insight into people and their needs.
When presented with a problem students are encouraged to develop their thinking about the problem and empathise with how the problem has affected them and society. They discuss what they think they know about the world to gain better insight into what people might need.
By synthesizing the information and experience from their observations, students highlight and bring clarity to the core problem/s so that the designed solutions specifically target and adequately address the needs of the people students are trying to help.
Students become better informed about current developments in their field, including challenges other experts have faced and the potential solutions being explored.
Ideation and Prototyping Phase
Informed and inspired by their research, students conceptualise a solution and elaborate and reiterate on it to uncover problems and streamline their design.
Students negotiate criteria for assessing the success of their designed solution, allowing them to take ownership of the design process and focus their thinking by making them aware of the steps they need to take in order to achieve their Learning Goals.« Read less