As of August 2012, all new blog posts will be made at our new departmental site at:
However, we’ll maintain CDTlog as an archive, as it has posts spanning three years.
Activities week has come and gone and feedback from pupils and teachers was very positive.
The banjo building project proved to be hard work for teachers and pupils, but nine out of eleven pupils completed their banjos. The two who didn’t complete their banjos were off ill for at least one day during the week.
Several of the banjos have now been recorded and the results posted on YouTube:
There are a couple of other project video recordings on YouTube:
Photos of most of the completed banjos are now posted at our Flickr account:
For the first time, The Royal High School is suspending the usual teaching timetable for a week and instead offering pupils a range of alternative activities.
On the last week of exam leave, 28th May to 1st June, all S2 pupils and around a quarter of S3 pupils, who aren’t out on trips, will be involved. The initiative is being led by CDT teacher Mrs Hislop, assisted by a small team.
We’ve produced a brochure of activity choices, posted it on-line and displayed a hard copy in school. Pupils browsed the brochure then completed an on-line survey to make their selections. Currently, Miss Santana is assigning pupils to activities, based on responses.
Teachers in the CDT department will be fully involved. Each is offering an activity as described in the following pages extracted from the brochure:
In due course, we’ll make posts describing how we got on.
Steven is one of thirteen pupils currently building banjos in the department. He has completed his first.
Steven worked independently, receiving minimal teacher assistance. He put in a considerable amount of time after school, including a couple of days during holiday weeks.
For more photos and technical info about the completed banjo, visit the following page on our main web site:
For more work-in-progress photos, visit the following set at our Flickr account:
The banjo plays well and we’ll post a video recording at our YouTube channel soon.
Several of our S3 pupils recently commenced construction of banjos, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The pupils had taken an interest in our ’16 Plus’ banjo project and had noticed that its scope qualified them for the ‘skills’ element of the bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: the ‘skill’ must take at least three months to develop. It is likely to take a bit longer than this to complete a banjo, assuming an hour and a half after school, once a week.
The slide show here includes photos from the first after school session, and more will be added to this slide show in coming weeks.
On December 7th, a group of our senior pupils visited the offices of Meso, a product development company in Glasgow. Our contact there is former Royal High pupil Scott Salter.
Scott studied Product Design Engineering at Glasgow University / Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2007. At the time of our visit, he had worked at Meso for seven months.
Scott took nearly two hours out of his day to deliver a super presentation about some of the products Meso has and is developing. He took us through the design / prototype / manufacturing process for several products, explaining design decisions, materials, ergonomics, and cost and manufacturing considerations. It was great to be able to handle the different prototypes while Scott explained each one’s shortcomings, and why it was rejected / further developed.
Scott also discussed university course choices. In his case, the engineering component of the degree he studied has proved useful in the job market, and he recommended retaining the study of maths at school. Using maths is an integral part of product engineering.
We’d like to thank Scott and Meso for hosting us. Take a look at Meso’s site, particularly the ‘our work’ section:
Pupils commenced construction of their banjos in mid November. Sessions are taking place after school once or twice a week.
The first slide show shows plywood rims being glued up – before the pupils opted to try for a more sophisticated form of construction incorporating a wood-turned rim and calf skin.
This slide show shows progress in constructing a second, more sophisticated banjo.
’16 Plus’ is a Scottish government initiative aimed at getting sixteen to nineteen year olds in to either full time work or education.
We recently received funding to help us offer pupils the chance to build a banjo, then learn to play it. Pupils will record their construction progress and photograph their final model. This evidence can then be incorporated in their portfolios, and referred to in their CVs.