Design Technology: Program Planning & Design

In 2015-2016, I have been focused on building a Design Program within the context of the Middle Years Programme of International Bacclaurate at the American International School of Mozambique.  In 2015 I was trained in Design Technology at both the MYP and Diploma Programme level.

This has included reconfiguring the existing teaching space, developing an interactive and collaborative online learning space and, planning, developing curriculum and providing instruction to a full course-load of MYP1 and MYP3 students.


In the 2014-2015 school year I piloted a Digital Design Lab elective at the International School of Prague. When that proposal was accepted, I began the hard work of designing the course, including developing standards and benchmarks, budgeting, ordering supplies, and developing performance tasks and assessment tools.


Training and Certifications


I now have my Category I Certifications for IB Design Technology at both the MYP and DP levels.


Some of the work below reflect personal projects I developed out of interest, but with other broader goals in mind: inspiring students and colleagues and building a unique and relevant set of skills I can bring to a 21st century classroom - especially one with designing and making at the core.  

3D Design

I've used Sketchup for years, ever since it was a free Google product. It's still free, so it is an easy foundation to any design program.

The opportunity to revisit and refine my skills and apply them to the 3D printing arena was an exciting part of the 2013-2014 school year.
I also have quite a lot of experience teaching Sketchup basics to both students and teachers, and helping students through the process of creating printed objects from Sketchup designs. I also constantly exploring other products, with special attention paid to free, open-source solutions.
  • Sketchup Make 2014 + plug-ins (Intermediate skills / experience)
  • Autodesk 123D series of apps (Exploratory)
  • Blender 3D (Exploratory) 


3D Printing

  • Makerbot Replicator 2, including considerable experience with configuration, maintenance and troubleshooting (Intermediate / Advanced skills)
  • Makerware Software (Intermediate / Advanced skills)
  • NettFabb Software - for optimizing and troubleshooting 3D models for printing) (Intermediate)

Arduino & Electronics

While I've been a Lego Robotics Coach as long as I've been an educator, this year I endevored to expand my personal skills beyond the Lego platform - exploring scratch-build robots using Arduino as the main "brain".

I personally believe the authentic, flexible, real-world prototyping and coding platform offered by Arduino has more to offer learners interested in Design than out-of-the-box solutions like Lego.

My personal skills with Ardunio are still developing, but I'm confident that I know enough to be able to guide learners as they attempt projects of their own.

  • Ardunio Development Environment (Intermediate)
  • Fritzing Circuit Design (Intermediate)


I built two robots this year, The Boss - my first Arduino robot (see the video above), and Jester - a more "serious" competition miniSumo bot, also Arduino base. In both cases the object was to develop my building and coding skills to a more sophisticated level so I could confidently bring these exciting tools into the classroom. 

Coaching Lego robotics clubs was probably my first opportunity to teach design skills to kids - it has been a part of my practice since I first started teaching. I have established and run Lego Robotics clubs in every school that I have worked.

At ISP I helped to establish a middle school robotics program and assisted the existing Upper School robotics team with their builds and events. 

At the American International School of Mozambique I coached both an afterschool robotics elective using Lego robotics, as well as the competitive Botball team which travelled to Zambia to compete against schools from across Eastern Africa.  

I am a key member of the planning committee for the ISSEA association of schools 2017 STEM Festival, where I will be responsibile fopr planning and running the robotics portion of the event.

  • Experienced with the Lego RCX, NXT and new EV3 platforms (Intermediate / Advanced)
  • Started several clubs from scratch, from budgeting and fundraising to planning activities and trips, and day-to-day management and mentoring (Advanced)
  • Experienced FIRST Lego League mentor and coach (Advanced)
  • Experienced Botball Mentor and Coach (Intermediate)
  • Experienced organizing and running competitive robotics tournaments and events.

Experimental Aircraft

  • Scratch-built a partly autonomous Ardunio-based Quadcopter (primarily for photography)
  • Experience with using RC components.