In DT, Year 2 have been making toy fire engines. Their design brief was to create a toy fire engine with a winding mechanism and wheels that turned on an axle.
To begin their research, the children learned about an incredible inventor named George William Manby. Did you know he invented the fire extinguisher? The children compared his invention to a fire extinguisher we see today. The most obvious difference was that Manby’s extinguisher was made from copper and, therefore, wasn’t bright red.
Next, the children looked at some existing products. They had great fun playing with a range of toy fire engines, discovering whether they made a sound, had flashing lights or an extendable ladder. Once the boys and girls had had the opportunity to explore of all the products, they decided which was their favourite and why.
Once they had completed their research, it was time for the children to design their toy fire engine. First, they learned about the mechanisms that would make different parts of their vehicle move. They labelled a diagram with key words to show the chassis (the frame of a vehicle), axles and wheels. Then, they drew a ladder which would become their winding mechanism. Finally, they drew a detailed drawing of the main body of their fire engine which included windows and lights.
Next, it was time to make the fire engine, and the children couldn’t wait to get started. Their first step was to construct their chassis and attach the axles to it. Then, they had to attach the wheels to the axles. This was very tricky but the children persevered and did a great job. After that, the children worked alongside an adult to wrap their box giving it the recognisable red colour. However, it still didn’t look much like a fire engine, so the children used different coloured paper to add decoration to their vehicle. They even used string to create a hose. Finally, the boys and girls added their winding mechanism. The children were amazed that they could raise and lower their ladder by turning a handle.
Finally, the children evaluated their product against the design brief. Looking at their vehicle, they decided whether the wheels turned on an axle and whether it had a working winding mechanism. Then, the children reflected on the process of making their toy fire engine. They decided which aspect they found the most difficult and explained their reason why.