6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12
Design & technology
Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.
Square peg, round hole. In this activity, students will conduct empathy interviews with educators around the school to design and create the perfect pegboard accessories to remove clutter, improve workflow, and save them time. Students will use customized pegboard components to help organize the classroom, desks, and other places around the school.
ISTE Standards for Students
All designs use acrylic and multiple designs can fit on a single piece of acrylic.
- Read through the activity details to review the steps for completing the activity.
- Gather all of the materials needed to print the designs.
- Print and assemble the sample designs the students will be exploring ahead of time. Gather items that need to be organized using the pegboard or its accessories.
- Familiarize yourself with the concept of empathy interviews. Watch the video, “What Are Empathy Interviews?”. Refer to the Stanford d.school’s “Interview for empathy” for interview suggestions.
- Pegboard Shelf – 1 minute
- Pegboard Shelf (02) – 1 minute
- Pegboard Shelf (03) – 1 minute
- Pegboard Plushie Bracket – 1 minute
- Pegboard Headphone Holder – 3 minutes
- Pegboard Tape Holder – 5 minutes
- Pegboard Roller Hook – 1 minute
- Pegboard Shelf Bracket Tooth 5mm – 1 minute
- Pegboard Shelf Bracket Tooth 5-6mm – 1 minute
- Pegboard Headphone Holder – 5 minutes
- Pegboard Tape Holder – 10 minutes
- All of the other pegboard designs – 0 minutes
Section 1 – Create:
- Ask: “How can we organize school spaces to give better access to materials so we can work more efficiently?” Give students time to think and time to share their ideas with others.
- Divide students into groups of 3-4.
- Tell groups that they will work through a pegboard organization challenge. Groups will explore different ways to organize things using pegboards and other items.
- Distribute several pegboard accessories as well as items like binder clips, PVC pipe, and zip ties.
- Challenge the groups to arrange pegboard accessories on a pegboard to organize classroom items like pens, markers, scissors, and other art supplies.
- Encourage students to notice how the pegboard accessories connect with the board, and note that there are multiple ways to organize the items on the board.
- Consider directing students to “Organize Anything with Pegboards: 14 Ideas and Tips” for pegboard organization suggestions.
- Have students reflect on the pegboard organization challenge as a class. Ask: “What was your biggest challenge during the experience?” and “What was your favorite mistake as you tried to complete the challenge?” Give students time to think and time to share their ideas with others.
- Ask: “Which places around the school could benefit from customized pegboard accessories to help with organization?” Encourage students to brainstorm and share their ideas. Consider displaying a map of the school during the brainstorm to help inspire students.
- Explain the importance of understanding a client’s (in this case teacher’s) needs before using pegboard accessories to help them organize their spaces. Introduce the concept of Empathy Interviews by watching “What Are Empathy Interviews?”. Refer to the Stanford d.school’s “Interview for Empathy” for interview suggestions.
- As a class, develop a question bank for empathy interviews. Questions might include:
- How do you organize your class?
- What’s the least successful way to organize something?
- Why wouldn’t this work?
- What’s the one item that you simply don’t have a good place for?
- What hasn’t worked before?
- After generating the question bank, conduct practice interviews within the class. This may be done in small groups or as a whole class using student volunteers. Take time to reflect on the process and give feedback on ways to improve the interview referring to the components of the “Interview for Empathy” resource.
- Divide the class into small groups and determine where to hold the empathy interviews. Help facilitate setting up a day or time for the interviews to occur. Encourage students to bring samples of the different pegboard accessories for the teachers to explore as well as pieces of acrylic in each color option to help the teachers make their selections. Students will take notes and thank their cooperating teacher at the end of the interview.
- After conducting the interviews, encourage students to reflect using the following questions.
- Who are you designing for?
- What stories did you hear from your cooperating teacher?
- What organizational needs or challenges arose based on your conversation?
- Which accessories would be helpful to meet the cooperating teacher’s needs?
- Which accessories and/or color options did the teacher seem most interested in?
- Have groups select which pegboard accessories to print based on the cooperating teacher’s needs. Order additional pegboards if needed. Remember that it is important to measure the available space when ordering and installing a pegboard.
- Have groups plan for printing the pegboard accessories by gathering all of the materials and reviewing the designs in the Glowforge app. Remember that each pegboard accessory’s joinery is designed to fit standard pegboard holes. Any changes made to the ends and size of the pieces may impact the fit and functionality of the pegboard accessory.
- Encourage students to arrange the individual design files to minimize material waste. Create each pegboard accessory by following its unique design steps to print and, if necessary, assemble its parts.
- Give students time to test their pegboard accessories. Have them consider:
- How well do they fit into the pegboard?
- Is there anything that needs to change to make them work better?
Section 2 – Use:
Have small groups…
- Collect the pegboard accessories and any instructional materials to help support organization.
- Deliver the pegboard accessories and instructional materials to their intended locations around the school and help the teacher install pegboard accessories, add items, and maximize organization.
- Reconnect with all of the cooperating teachers. After several days, collect feedback with questions like:
- Have any unexpected needs arisen since we installed the pegboard accessories?
- Did any accessories not work as originally planned? How can we help resolve the issue?
- Do you have suggestions for how we could improve our process in the future?
Help students consider…
- How did the Empathy Interview help me to better understand my cooperating teacher’s needs?
- How do the pegboard accessories help to better organize spaces around the school?
- What are some additional pegboard accessory designs that might be helpful for organizing spaces?
- Multiple pegboard accessories can be printed on a single piece of acrylic to avoid material waste.
- The pegboard accessories are designed to fit a standard pegboard. Refrain from making any adjustments to the peg so that the pieces fit as intended.
- Make a print inventory for each pegboard accessory prior to printing so that you can print multiples of a single design simultaneously on one piece of material.
- Beyond each accessory’s intended purpose, how else could you use the pegboard accessories? Brainstorm and reimagine how the Tape Holder, Headphone Holder, or Roller Hook could be used outside of each design’s stated use.
- How could you redesign a shelf to make it more useful? Consider ideas like adding a shape to it, such as a circular hole. Brainstorm how shelves might accommodate holding or displaying items like scissors or paint brushes by adjusting the width of a hole.
- How can you identify teachers’ organizational needs? Use this project as an opportunity to engage your students in surveying or interviewing other teachers and students by creating a request form. Create a paper version or use a digital tool like Google Forms or Microsoft Forms to collect “orders” for your class to fulfill. Consider adding pictures of each pegboard accessory as well as the following questions:
- Teacher Name
- Room Number
- Pegboard Accessories (with check boxes)
The magical 3D laser printer that made this lesson possible. Learn more!