The Future Table – The self-cleaning table

This task represents the designing of a future table with 3 devices which turn it in an autonomous table while cleaning itself and assisting the owner in his daily routine management. The students were engaged in solving real-world problems through the design thinking process, following the 4 Principles of Design Thinking. In groups, using a poll, they identified a real need of their community. They then worked collaboratively achieving each steps of the design thinking process and finally they designed the product which answered their need.

There were 2 stages:

  • Theoretical stage studying DESIGN THINKING approach
  • Practical stage – designing a future table to accomplish the need of the students’ community.

Aims to be accomplished

  • Searching for and selecting accurate data having a specific learning purpose.
  • Designing educational presentation according to the task assigned using various online tools.
  • Working collaboratively to design a presentation on a specific topic.
  • Incorporating the results of the task into a common educational presentation.

Stage 1: Theoretical stage. Duration: 4 hours. Students worked in pairs/groups to design theoretical presentations about the four principles of the design thinking process

  • The human rule: 
  • The ambiguity rule
  • The redesign rule:
  • The tangibility rule

Students followed the 5 phases of design thinking:

  • Phase 1: Empathise
  • Phase 2: Define
  • Phase 3: Ideate
  • Phase 4: Prototype
  • Phase 5: Test

Stage 2: Practical stage. The team designed a self-cleaning table to accomplish the challenges of the modern citizen:

1st device – The Dirt Detector

  •  It is placed on the ceiling
  •  It is both a dirt detector and a kitchen lamp

This is a two in one gadget. It can provide the room with white light by putting a light bulb in the middle of it. There are also some secondary light bulbs on the corners that provide the room with UV light. The UV light lights the table and you can see clearly the dirt on it.

2nd device – The Self Cleaner

 It has 2 components:

  •  a magnet that goes under the table
  •  a sponge with wireless controls on the top

By pressing the button in the middle of this device, it can clean the whole table. It also has a magnet under the table that can gather all the things on it that have metal in them. The device is wireless and it works on batteries.

3rd deviceThe Voice Controller

  • It is an hourglass-shaped device
  • It has speakers inside of it
  • It can be activated only by your voice!

It can be activated by saying: Hey, Alexa!… This device can stream music, control gadgets (phones, tablets or laptops) or can answer questions by using the Internet and Google. It can also make “to do lists”: set alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks and provide weather, trafic, sports, or other real time information.

 The presentation of the whole process can be seen here:

The key competencies were assessed:

  • social skills – ability to communicate effectively to design collaboratively an educational product – number of educational product designed collaboratively
  • English skills – ability to use English effectively to convey accurately the information – language accuracy and appropriateness of information designed by the students
  • ICT skills – ability to use a digital tool to present appropriately the result of collaboration – quality of the educational products, features of designed products, interactive elements

Transversal competencies:

  • STEM approach involvement – identifying accurate solutions to difficulties raised using critical thinking and making decision appropriately.
  • Using information from STEM-related subjects to design the table – accomplishing the task.
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About cameliatimofte

I am an English teacher in Romania. I have been teaching for more than 20 years. Recently I have been involved in an Erasmus+ STEAM project. The experince was both challenging and informative for me. I would like to share my professional experince with some other enthusiastic teachers.