Design Your Own Shoes

Teachers: Deniz Cemre Cimbar & Özgün Pehlevan

Age: 13-14 years old

Duration: February, 2021, 2 weeks, 4 lessons per week

The aim of this STEM project is to discover that solid pressure is related to force and surface area with the connection to everyday life. For this purpose, students were asked to design their own shoes by following the STEM steps. The study was applied in the distance education process due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the students had to work individually.

Throughout the entire study, the engineering design process is applied to identify, explore, design, create, test, and rearrange the problem. The general flow of the study is as follows:

  1. Identify the Problem: In this step, students investigate the question of “why do we wear shoes?”. By obtaining information about the history of shoes from the past to the present, they reach the knowledge of how the use of shoes has changed with the developing technology.
  2. Explore: In this section, students investigate the general structure of the foot, what is important when designing a shoe, and the features that should be in a good shoe. The purpose of this step is to obtain information about what to pay attention to and how to design the shoes they will design.
  3. Design: Students draw a design for a winter shoe that covers the feet. The limitations determined for this purpose are as follows:
The picture is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)
  • Material: Must be completely recycled material.
  • Mold: The shoe sole should be suitable for the sole of the foot to be worn and should be designed for both feet.
  • Design: The design should look like a shoe.
  • Heel Height: Heel height should be 4 cm.
  • Durability: It should be able to withstand 2 meters walking, 4 meters running, and 2 meters jumping.
The picture is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

4. Create: At this stage, all students turn their cameras on to display the workspace. During three of the lessons, they complete their designs in front of the cameras.

5. Test: Before testing the completed shoe models, each student calculates their own solid pressure. Then they test the durability criteria, record these stages one by one and send the video to the teacher.

6. Make it better: After the test phase, students evaluate themselves in the reflection section in the STEM booklet. After reflecting on their work, they decide what to do to reorganize their design.

The picture is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

After the study is completed, students prepare a poster using the Canva program to introduce their designs to their friends. They make a short presentation about the features of the shoes they designed, the price and why they should be preferred. Thus, it contributes to the development of their presentation skills in the distance education process.