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Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
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Bose Design Challenge

Ninth grade students in Advanced 3D Design partnered with Bose for their most recent design challenge. The project kicked off at the beginning of the term with a visit to the Bose Rapid Prototype Development Center in Framingham, Mass. Students were given a tour of the Bose fabrication facilities. On this visit, Bose Engineer Leader Ben Davies introduced students to their assignment to design an accessory for the Bose Soundlink Flex. The Soundlink Flex is a portable speaker that is waterproof, dustproof, shock-resistant, and floats. It is ruggedly designed and made to be taken anywhere. Students had to think about accessories that could complement the product’s design and offer additional functionality to consumers.

Students started by researching other products in the marketplace and creating mood boards with images from nature, mechanical designs, and other objects that they were using as inspiration. Then, each group created four design sheets with different ideas for an accessory. The design team mentors from Bose visited the classroom and gave students feedback on their first iteration of ideas. “It was cool to watch the students meet with the Bose team members and then immediately turn to one another and start talking, drawing, and changing their designs based on feedback,” says Technology and Design Teacher Andrew Shirley. 
Ben Davies visited the Advanced 3D Design classes again this week to walk students through the methodology Bose designers use when they want to downselect from a variety of ideas to the best one. He used three generic accessory ideas and had students weigh the importance of different factors against each other such as low cost, sustainability, and high aesthetics. Using a Pugh Decision Matrix, students were able to see which design option was the best, and Ben shared the tool so that students could use the same process to evaluate their accessory designs.

Next week, Fay students will be traveling to Bose again to present models of their designs along with poster boards of their design sheets to the product design team at Bose. Their final designs included a speaker stand that charges and offers increased stability to the speaker and a speaker holder inspired by car phone holders that allow the consumer to adjust and point the speaker in any direction. “The students will get experience pitching their ideas to experts working on these types of projects,” says Andrew. “The fact that they are doing it outside of the classroom is great because it will feel less like school and more like a professional working environment.” 
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