We began our process by tasting vegetables and herbs in different forms: raw, cooked, fresh and dried - this helped us to decide how they may taste when added to the sauce and which flavours complement each other best.
Next, we went to the kitchen and learnt how to safely use a range of new equipment in the kitchen. Firstly, we built on our skills of chopping, by practising the claw method and bridge method to chop a variety of different vegetables. We decided that it was better to use the bridge more spherical, juicy vegetables (such as tomatoes) so that we could secure the vegetable on the chopping board. However, the claw method was better for longer, and harder vegetables. In both cases, we learnt that the methods ensured our safety and avoided any cut fingers!
Our next step was to learn how to boil pasta in an 'al dente' style. We learnt how to turn on a hob and differentiate between a simmer and boil when watching the water. For this, we had to make sure that we watched the water carefully so that the water did not boil over.
During our 'Design' phase, we built on the skills we developed in the kitchen to decide on the vegetables we wanted to use and the style of pasta too. During our design, we considered the functional and taste of the final dish as well as the aesthetic qualities - how would it look on the plate?
Our next session began in the kitchen. We used our chopping skills to dice our chosen vegetables and then added herbs to a mix of passata, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes. Some of us preferred to cook the vegetables; others kept their vegetables raw. Then, we blended the sauce to create a smooth, creamy texture.
We returned to the hobs to cook our pasta and then added our sauce to the mix. Our final step included adding toppings and garnish such as: dried herbs, chilli flakes and cheese.
We analysed the history of our local dish, Scouse, finding out that the recipe entered our city through our influential ports from Scandinavia. By looking at the ingredients and considering its historic roots, we knew that the dish would have been eaten by sailors; therefore, the ingredients had to provide them with a lot of energy for their long journeys (including lots of carbohydrates); warming due to the harsh conditions; and ingredients that would last a long time as their journeys could have taken months without any refrigeration.
Next, we looked at the importance of safety in the kitchen, identifying potential hazards that we could encounter and how to avoid these. We also learnt about how hand washing is a crucial step in the preparation of food due to the potential of spreading bacteria onto food and preparation surfaces.
In our design phase, we learnt about how design elements of the pie could be functional or aesthetic. If it was functional, it meant that it had a purpose, for example the vents on the pie were used to let steam rise from the filling. Other design features were aesthetic: this meant that the elements were for decoration and to make it appealing to the end user.
During the 'Make' phase, we learnt new skills in chopping and dicing vegetables to cook down into a stew. We learnt about using a claw grip to avoid injuring ourselves and protecting our fingers from cuts. Additionally, we learnt how to chop the vegetables into a dice: this would ensure that they would cook evenly when placed inside the pie so that it was tasty for the end user.
Our project brief outlined that we needed to design and make a cross stitch memento, which could be used to give thanks to NHS staff for their key role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using this criteria, during our 'Design' phase, we researched the history of cross stitch. We discovered that their purpose and user had changed significantly over the centuries. We looked at historical pieces of tapestry, such as the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicted the Norman Invasion and learnt that cross stitch was a way to show extravagance and wealth during this time. We also learnt about the aesthetic qualities of embroidery, which uses colours and patterns to depict stories and folktales, such as in Indian culture. Finally, we learnt about how soldiers used cross stitching during WWI and WWII as a way to relax and keep in touch with their family and loved ones. Embroidered handkerchiefs were more durable than paper and were a good way for men to relax when they were away from the battlefield.
Next, we looked at examples of existing products and analysed their purpose. We evaluated if the existing cross stitch were used for decorative purposes and were therefore aesthetic or if the cushion had a practical role in supporting the user perform a task in a particular way and were therefore functional. For some of these existing products, we discussed if it were possible that a cushion could be both aesthetic and functional.
We also developed skills in joining and finishing by learning about different types of stitch. We learnt that some stitches could be visible or hidden based on their purpose or if they contributed to the end product's design. Using a pattern piece, we practised some hidden stitches including: running stitch, back stitch, half stitch as well as some visible stitches including: running stitch and cross stitch. After this, we evaluated which stitches we would use in the final design, considering their aesthetic and functional qualities. Finally, we considered how we could finish our product, adding detail to make it aesthetically pleasing.
During the 'Make' phase of our project, we selected from a wide range of threads and decoration elements to incorporate into our final product.
If necessary, we adapted our designs based on the feedback given to us throughout the process. At the end of our project, we evaluated our products against the design criteria, considering the views of others to improve our work if we were to do it again in the future.
Our thrill-seekers were inspired by the impressive constructions and height of the rides and rollercoasters in Port Aventura - we wanted to make a mini Port Aventura in our classroom!
Firstly, we researched some of the rides at Port Aventura, looking closely at how the structures were made stronger by the addition of triangles to reinforce the tower's design. We thought about the type of ride that we would like to construct as a prototype to explore how these mechanisms work together. Next, we looked closely at how energy is transferred in these rides - considering gravity, potential energy and kinetic energy in how the rides move, spin and rock.
Then came our opportunity to use some existing construction materials to make models by following exploded diagrams as our instructions. Through our construction phase, we learnt about the importance of using cams, gears and motors in order to transfer effectively throughout the ride - we built some of these cams with the individual pieces of K'NEX.
After our construction phase came our evaluation: we had a carousel to look at each others' build, analysing how the mechanisms worked and how we could iron out or fix any problems with the design. We also extended this to our parents, who were really impressed with our feats of engineering! Some parents gave advice on how we could fix some errors in our designs.