Ten Years of CDIO Experiences Linked to Toy Design

Ten Years of CDIO Experiences Linked to Toy Design

A. Lantada, J. Sevillano (2017).  Ten Years of CDIO Experiences Linked to Toy Design. 10.

Toys are deeply rooted to the natural learning process of children, as they investigate for themselves understanding cause effect relationships and the relevance of boundary conditions, and to the development of their personality and social skills, as they observe and interact with other children and adults when playing. Learning through play, promoted by pioneers as Montessori, Piaget and Steiner, is among the most powerful teaching-learning strategies and currently forms part of high-quality curricula worldwide, mainly from early childhood to high school. Our experience shows that it can be also successfully applied to higher Education and that living through the complete engineering design process of real toys, following the CDIO scheme, is an excellent strategy for making engineering students face real industrial challenges while they design, dream, play and learn.

A decade ago we started to set the foundations towards the European Area of Higher Education, which should promote active learning in contexts more linked to professional practice. To this end, several courses in our Industrial Engineering Degree began to incorporate project-based learning activities, although initially with a more limited scope than that of the integral CDIO approach, as fundamental part of the teaching-learning process. In our course on “Design and manufacturing with polymers” we opted for including capstone collaborative projects linked to designing real plastic products and the related mass-production tools. We decide to propose students to design toys and the related injection molds, which constitute great examples of complex engineering systems, using state-of-the-art industrial methodologies and resources. The topic of “toy design” has proven to be motivating for students and teachers and has helped us to re-invent the course in every edition. Our course has served as application example of the benefits of student-centered teaching-learning strategies at ETSII-UPM along the implementation of the “Bologna process”, which has culminated with the beginning of the Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering, a programme that devotes more than a 20% of activities to project-based learning following the CDIO standards, in which the detailed course continues as part of the Mechanical Engineering major. Here we present a summary of the course evolution during the last decade and analyze its main teaching-learning results.

To our knowledge, this “complete toy design experience” constitutes one of the first integral applications of the CDIO methodology to the field of Industrial Engineering in our country and stands out for ten years of continuous improvements. Around 500 students have taken part in these projects from our “Design and manufacturing with polymers” course at ETSII-UPM and more than 200 real toys, together with the related injection molding mass-production tools, have been designed during the last ten years. The most outstanding designs have been manufactured and tested every year as a way of letting students live the whole CDIO cycle.

Proceedings of the 13th International CDIO Conference in Calgary, Canada, June 18-22 2017

Authors (New): 
Andrés Díaz Lantada
Juan de Juanes Márquez Sevillano
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Spain
CDIO implementation
Case studies & best practices
integrated learning experiences
Active learning
Standards: 1, 3, 7, 8
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