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Lesson Review

Author:Rob Alexander
ETP Title:Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down
Organization:FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc.
ETP Type:Enhance Existing Curriculum
Grade Level(s):7
Subject Area(s):Technology

Lesson Abstract:

Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down Lesson Abstract


The goal of this ETP is to engage students in a hands-on, collaboratively designed, engineering experience. Students will follow the procedures of research, development, and production observed at FUJIFILM Dimatrix, Inc as they complete a modular toothpick structure. Following preset design criteria, groups will complete work in class and communicate work to be done by the next class via a “Pass Down Paper.”  The project will go back and forth between classes by way of the “Pass Down Paper” until completion.  Groups will be encouraged to complete multiple structures for competition.  During competition, each bench will have one opportunity to shoot a bottle cap at every other bench’s structure to either knock it off or break a piece off for points.  If this does not happen, the bench who made the structure receives a survival point.

Focal Standards

D1.0 Students know how to communicate and interpret information clearly in industry standard visual and written formats 


Measurable Objectives:

Students will create a modular, stable, toothpick design collaboratively. 

Students will write concise understandable instructions in the form of a “pass down paper” for the next period’s group to follow.

Students will evaluate their completed work against the “pass down paper’s” instructions and formulate a new set of concise understandable pass down instructions for the next period’s group to follow. 




Communication Assessment

Pass Down Papers will be collected after the second class has written their comments and scored the first group’s original pass down.  The “Pass Down Paper” contains a dotted box at the bottom of the page for student and teacher assessments.  If the group collectively decides to check all 4 boxes, the score is a “5.”  If any of the boxes are unchecked, the score is a “0.”  


Construction Assessment

An addition assessment is made on the structure based on the attachment: Still Standing Requirements.

Additional Standards

D11.0 Students understand the effective use of engineering technology equipment.

D11.1  Use methods and techniques for employing all engineering technology equipment
D11.2  Apply conventional engineering technology processes and procedures accurately,
appropriately, and safely.
D11.3  Apply the concepts of engineering technology to the tools, equipment, projects,
and procedures of the Engineering Technology Pathway.

21st Century Skill(s)

Communication and Collaboration


Communicate Clearly

  • Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade) 

This skill will be practiced throughout the lesson as groups communicate amongst themselves and their pass down group.  Students will have an opportunity for face-to-face communication with their in-class group and paper only written communication with their pass down(other period) group. 

This replicates the experience I had at Fujifilm Dimatix this past summer.  The four 12 hour shifts would have a half hour pass down to communicate where the project was and what needed to be done next.  Sometimes your pass down person would not be available or an engineer would leave alternate instructions to go by. 

The project will require production of modules and experimentation (research and development).  At Fujifilm Dimatix, they produced modular parts for the industrial print heads.  Each one needed to be identical, hence the modular aspect.  New product lines were also being developed alongside the existing line.  This is the R & D component.  The Still Standing project encompasses both aspects of my experience at Fujifilm Dimatix.

I plan to integrate my fellowship experience into this lesson by:

-Introducing this lesson by sharing my work this summer with Fujifilm Dimatix and the engineers and technicians I worked with and how I noticed the constant communication taking place.

-I’ll use the modular aspect of the print heads as a hook for the modular toothpick design.  I’ll show students how this project relates to Fujifilm Dimatix modular assembly and R&D.


21st Century Skill(s) Application

Students will practice this skill throughout the lesson as groups communicate amongst themselves and their pass down group.  They will have an opportunity for daily face-to-face communication with their in-class group and paper only written communication with their pass down(other period) group. 

Fellowship Description

My fellowship at Fujifilm Dimatix was to examine shift-to-shift communication and consistency, as well as explore process efficiency.   The main skills I employed were communication and collaboration, word processing and analyzing production processes.  I was exposed to management, engineers, technicians, quality assurance and high-tech maintenance careers.  Fujifilm Dimatix manufactures and develops industrial print heads.

The connection between the ETP and Fellowship. :

I will start by showing a picture of myself in a bunny suit holding up a Canyon Middle School pennant.  This will lead to a discussion of what I did this past summer.  I will explain that the bunny suit is needed in the clean room to protect the sensitive print head parts from contamination during fabrication.  In the clean room 4 crews work 12 hours shifts, so the facility functions 24 hours a day.  The clean room houses robotic devices, plasma cleaners, microscopes, an x-ray machine, and electronic testing equipment. They have a half hour overlap to communicate to the next crew what to do next at their station or “pass down” critical information.  You can only see the small portion of your face so being able to communicate clearly and precisely is essential.  If you forget something the entire production line could come to a halt.  That’s how important this communication is.  Sometimes you have to write notes with instructions or enter it on the computer.  If you don’t clearly tell your replacement what to do next the print head assembly could get ruined costing thousands of dollars and lost time in production.  You can’t just do it on your own you have to rely on others, as in school, as in work.

Instructional Plan:

Note: Please view Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down Instructions PowerPoint first.  The Bibliography contains links to the Engineering Design Process and the FujiFilm Dimatix homepage.



At Fujifilm Dimatix, fabrication of industrial print head modules takes place 24/7 by way of four 12 hour shifts.  These shifts have half an hour to “pass down” where they left off on the production to the next set of technicians.  This allows the next shift to pick up where the previous shift left off and continue production as seamlessly as possible.  In the clean room where fabrication takes place, they also encounter engineering R & D (Research and Development) requests to the existing product.  This allows for modifications to the existing process that may take it in a new more effective direction.  The Still Standing Modular Design simulates the fabrication process experienced at Fujifilm Dimatix with the R & D aspect.  In addition, the “Pass Down” feature has been added to mimic the pass down scenario that takes place between the shifts.  This requires aligning two identical classes who will be able to hand off the project back and forth, so you can monitor their communication.


Prep (1 day)

1.  Divide students into groups of 4-5.  If they already sit a bench or table this works best.

2.  Have students copy the Still Standing Requirements (see attachment: Still Standing Requirements) for reference.

3.  Demonstrate proper and safe use of the easy cutter/scissors.

4.   Demonstrate construction techniques and show examples (show PowerPoint slides 7-12).

5. Encourage students to check the requirements page and weigh in their structures as necessary.

6.  The first group must brainstorm, experiment with the materials and decide on a module to mass produce.

7. Remind students that they will be completing modules that are identical in size and shape as in the fabrication process of a print head module.

8.  Pass out work surfaces.


Build and Assess (3 days)

1.  Have students work together as a group on select module shapes.

2.  During the last 15 minutes have students complete the Pass Down Paper (see attachment: Pass Down Paper).  As a group they must decide 1-3 steps they want the next group to work on.  One person will be designated the Pass Down Leader.  The Pass Down Leader writes their name in the space provided and copies down all information from the group.   The Pass Down Leader must change each day.  When done, the Pass Down Paper will be taped on the work surface.  Make sure all work surfaces are labeled with a bench or group number.  If there is more than one work surface per group, make sure the bench or group number is labeled on that work surface as well.

3.  Secure work surfaces in a cabinet or shelf area.

4.  The other period will follow steps 1-5 of the Prep and pick up the work surface(s) corresponding to their group number.  They will read the Pass Down Paper instructions and try to complete them during that period. 

5.  During this period’s last 15 minutes they will complete the last pass Down Paper by circling yes or no as to whether they completed the tasks or not.  They should use the comments section to clearly explain any difficulties or issues they had.  Assessment: This group will also score the previous group’s communication on the bottom of the paper in the dotted box.  The instructions are in the box.  This paper will be turned in at the end of the period.  Once you have all the papers you can score them.  A new Pass Down Paper will be completed for the next class with 1-3 steps they want the next group to work on, so the process repeats.

6.  When enough modules have been completed (recommend between 0.1oz-0.3oz worth of modules), groups will begin building the final structure.  This simulates the Research and Development Phase.

7.  Groups can now begin making decisions about how the structure will satisfy the requirements and handle the impact from the bottle cap projectile.  Encourage students to review the requirements page.

8.  The Pass Down Paper can now have communications for the structural design and/or additional module construction.

9.  Assessment: When groups have completed their structure have them assessed using the Still Standing Requirements Sheet (see attachment:  Still Standing Requirements).  The scoring of the structure is based on 20 points.  If they satisfy all criteria, they receive a 20.

10.  If they received a 20, they qualify for the competition (see attachment: Still Standing Tally Sheet).  Sign them up on this sheet across from their bench number.  The 8 rectangular boxes under “modules” are for a sketch of the module with its weight listed.

11.  They should continue building additional structures if time permits.  Having more than one structure per bench is beneficial if one gets destroyed.  They can use the same module or come up with a new design.


Competition (1-2 days)

1.  Pass out an index card with their group number on it to each group except the first group that is starting the competition.

2.  Have the starting group place their first qualifying design anywhere on the bench they want.  Remind them they will only be able to reset it again if it gets knocked off the bench.

3.  Go in numerical order so there is no advantage to one particular group.  For example: if group 1 is placing their design, group 2 should be the first to shoot, then group 3, 4, 5 and so on.   (Make sure everyone in the each group shoots once before someone shoots again).  Allow the first group to set up the shooting device anywhere they want around the table/bench, as long as it won’t move the structure.

4.  Secure the shooting device with the mini bar clamps once the shooter has decided on the placement.  Once everyone is 4’ away from the table, allow them to take the shot.

5.  If they knock the structure off the bench score one point on the tally sheet for that bench.

6.  If the structure has a piece broken off of it score a point on the tally sheet for that bench.

7.  If the structure is not knocked off score a survival point for the bench that made the structure.

8.  If the structure was knocked off, that bench can put their next design on the bench and continue.  If they only have one design, they have to continue with that design.

9.  If their project was not knocked off, it stays where it was and the next bench takes their shot and so on until all groups have competed against that group.

10.  When one group is entirely finished, redistribute all the index cards except for the next competing group’s card and continue steps 2-9 until all groups have finished.

Tally up the survival and attack points for each group to determine the results for the competition.


White glue or wood glue

Class set of safety eyewear

Easy Cutters or heavy duty scissors-enough so each group of 4-5 has one

Toothpicks-flat work best. Approx. 2,500 per 32 students needed

Shooting Device (see attachment: Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down Instructions PowerPoint)

2 liter bottle caps

2 Quick Grip Mini Bar Clamps 6” (see attachment: Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down Instructions PowerPoint)

5’x5’approximate size bench or table for competition 

Digital Scale (see attachment: Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down Instructions PowerPoint)


Index Cards-labeled for each group

Work Surfaces (at least 40)-scrap corrugated cardboard 5”x7” or bigger covered with scrap tracing paper (see attachment: Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down Instructions PowerPoint)

*Try Nasco for Easy Cutters and toothpicks

Bibliographic or other resources you used in creating this curriculum:




 "FujiFilm Dimatix."  Web. 26 Jul 2012. <http://www.fujifilmusa.com/about/corporate_profile/fujifilm_companies/dimatix/about/index.html>.


 "The Engineering Design Process." Web. 26 Jul 2012.                                                             <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/engineering-design-process/engineering-design-process-steps.shtml>.