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This is a question School Projects

MostlySunny wibbles, "When I was 11 I got an A for my study of shark nets - mostly because I handed it in cut out in the shape of a shark."

Do people do projects that don't involve google-cut-paste any more? What fine tat have you glued together for teacher?

(, Thu 13 Aug 2009, 13:36)
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Computer desk
CaptainSpunker's story reminds me...

Many moons ago for my 'Design & Technology Resistant Materials' GCSE, I embarked on the design and construction of a computer desk. Obviously, I spent 80% of the weeks allocated to this work doing drawings, fucking about with the lathe (goodness only knows what fine machining had to do with my design) and laughing at the truly awesome Mr Chapman mix up his wrongly colour coded steel rods in the oxy-acetylene torch demonstration ("Now this is low carbon steel, so this will bend after heating..." *PING!* "Shit!")

Anyway, when the time had long passed to get down to building the sodding desk - which had developed through interminable doodling into a true leviathan of Brunelian proportions and strength - I realised there was no time to finish. What to do?

Well, I cut the MDF shelving out myself and invested a great deal of effort in profiling and staining it, honestly I did, but my mum's partner seeing my predicament offered to get the metalwork made up at his friend's light engineering workshop. I felt a bit bad as a good few of my classmates had slaved away for weeks realising their Rotring-drawn dreams in steel, vacuum-formed plastic and "a range of aesthetically pleasing hardwoods". However I figured only I would know, as my partner's friend had a reputation for turning out stillages, farm trailers and restored tanks - hardly the pretty engineering that might give me away.

So I was more than a little mortified when a set of beautifully fabricated steel frame sections arrived at our house, fashioned from 20mmx20mm square section steel tubing, bent at the corners in a way only achievable by a specific machine the school certainly did not have, all topped off by a stunning cobalt blue powder coat finish. Offend my mum's partner and his talented friend (who'd done the work gratis) or fail the course and get teased forever?

I plumped for the latter, and predictable uproar ensued when 'my' creation was unveiled. Frankly, I agreed, and bravely admitted my weakness and failure to my hard-working colleagues looked at the floor. But Mr Chapman then threw a fairly typical curve-ball - in answer to all the protests around the theme of "but I built mine myself!", he stated: "Nowhere in the brief does it say, or did I say, that you had to actually build the entire project yourselves. This is an example of good project management, and also something known as outsourcing. A*."

I was as dumbfounded as the 20 pupils who'd just learned to hate in ways they hadn't imagined were possible. Nice desk though.

Length? Considerably shrivelled five minutes later when I thought I'd damaged the inlaid marquetry on my friend's cherry wood jewellery box with a dropped chisel.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 23:58, Reply)

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