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Year 8 - The Container Project

The Task

A local craft shop has asked you to design
And make a small container that could be used to store pencils, pens, paper clips, drawing pins e.t.c. The unit may even have a built in sharpener. If the company is pleased with the prototype they may wish to purchase more.


1. The outside body of the container is to be made of hollow square section aluminium.
2. The container may have a hardwood, softwood, or acrylic top and bottom.
3. The container may have a built in sharpener.
4. The container must have shapes cut or drilled from the surface.
5. The container may have coloured polystyrene on the inside for decoration.
6. The top if made from acrylic may have a memory produced shape or pattern.


1. A number of sketches of possible ideas.
2. A detailed drawing of all six sides of the container.
3. A card model of the container showing surface detail.
4. A Timetable of practical work.
5. An isometric drawing of the container in colour.
6. A finished high quality product.

Extension work

Produce a sheet showing the process of creating a memory shaped pattern in acrylic.
The sheet should show the process in detail in the form of a flow chart.

What preparation do I need to do?

1. Decide upon what the container is to hold.
2. Measure the items that will go into the container. The container will have to be large enough to hold the items.
3. Buy a sharpener if you wish your container to hold one.

Programmes Of Study References

1b Focused practical tasks in which they develop and practice particular skills and knowledge;
3b Use design briefs to guide design thinking;
3c Develop a specification for their product;
3d Consider the needs and values of intended users and develop criteria for their design to guide thinking and form a basis for evaluation;
3e Generate design proposals that match stated design criteria and modify proposals to improve them;
3f Consider the aesthetics, function, safety, reliability, and the cost of their designs;
3g Take account of the working characteristics and properties of the materials and components when deciding how and when to use them;
4a use a range of processes to shape and form materials, including forming by wastage, attachment, adhesion and combining;
4b Select materials, tools and equipment appropriate to the task;
4c Select and use appropriate methods of shaping and forming materials accurately;
4d Join and combine additional materials and components accurately in temporary and permanent ways;
4g Apply a range of finishing techniques appropriate to the material being used, taking into account the purposes to which the finished products will be put;
5a To consider the physical and chemical properties of materials and to relate these properties to the ways materials are worked and used;
5b That materials can be classified according to their properties and behavior, and the major classifications within the material categories they are using, e.g. thermoplastics and thermosets;
5c That materials can be combined, processed and finished, in order to create more useful properties and desired aesthetic effects, e.g. combining different ingredients to create products with different sensory characters;
5d That heat treatment and the combining of materials alter working and performance characters;
5e That some materials can be formed by pressing or casting, which are important techniques for producing multiple copies;
10a Taking responsibility for recognising hazards in a range of products, activities, and environments with which they are familiar;
10b Using appropriate information sources to assess the risks, both immediate and cumulative;
10c Applying their knowledge and take action to control the risk to themselves and to others.

Technical Knowledge and Understanding Needed

· Memory Technique.
· How to safely drill into aluminium. How to cut and finish aluminium.
· How to cut, shape and finish hardwoods.
· How to create a development and an orthographic drawing.

Tools and Equipment Needed

· Hacksaws Tenon saws
· Hand files Glass paper
· Swiss files Hand chisels
· Emery cloth A Kiln
· Lacquer Wire
· Drill bits Wood varnish
· Pillar drill
· Buffing machine
· Tin snips
· Contact adhesive or superglue

Using Mathematics

· Developments
· Calculating sizes
· Measuring

. Using IT

· Spreadsheets to examine materials needed.
· Draw package to create isometric drawing.

Using Science

· Properties of materials - Memory.

Using Other Subjects

Using Economic And Industrial Understanding

· That certain materials have a memory.

Year 8 - Containers

The Task

To make a container from aluminium, hardwoods and polystyrene. The container will hold stationary items and may include a built in sharpener.

Setting The Task

A work desk can sometimes get easily messy if things are not tidied away. Make a small container to hold some pencils and pens. The holder may incorporate a pencil sharpener.

Main Aims

1. To understand the importance of a prototype to establish the correct size.
2. To use 'Memory Technique' in acrylic.
3. To learn about the properties of different materials- acrylic, hardwoods, aluminium and polystyrene.
4. To learn shaping and finishing techniques.
5. To develop a quality finish.
6. To learn of new tools and equipment.
7. To understand the importance of accurate marking out and cutting.



· To acquire construction skills and knowledge of the working properties of a variety of materials.
· To understand the importance of jigs.


· Quality of finish and accuracy of finish.


· Which materials are recyclable and which one's are not. The materials that can damage the environment.

The Nature Of The Product

All pupils should develop the following :-
· A situation and brief.
· Sketches of alternative ideas.
· Development of all six sides of a container.
· An orthographic Drawing of the container.
· Designs of the Memory top surface.
· A finished container made from aluminium, hardwoods, polystyrene and acrylic.
· A card model or prototype.