At certain times of the year Instructables gets asked "what project can I do", " how can I do..." mostly by school or college students.

In many cases if the questioner were to approach their project in a logical and systematic manner  then most of these questions would answer themselves

That's what professional engineers do. they work systematically through the project to achieve a satisfactory end.

This instructable contains the essential parts of one of the many student handbooks I prepared for my students for use in their exam year.

Some parts have been edited because they apply to the UK exam system and the user should insert their relevant exam criteria in there.

Please bear in mind that this was aimed at the UK school Design and Technology system BUT the methodology and information can - and should be - applied to any project that is less than trivial even work at home if of a suitable scale.

The principles can, and should be, applied in all industry small and large because they are well established good practices.

This work is all my own although the ideas are drawn from established systems in industry, exam appropriate information applies to the UK AQA exam board 2009 - This should still be current although the form is easily changed.

For Teachers and School students following this is a proven way to get good results - It still requires students to do the work.

You are more than welcome to use this information to your advantage. Please credit this instructable.

Step 1: Introduction

The aim of this hand book is to guide you through the process of designing and making in a way that will ensure you meet all of the requirements of the exam board.

This is a step by step approach and none of the steps should be missed out.

Success is a product of the effort you put in. The majority of students fail because they:
Miss out sections of the project
Do not meet the required deadlines
Produce poor quality, rushed or incomplete work.
Waste time in class when they should be working
Fail to complete work at home for Homework or during holidays.

Your project counts for 60% of the marks and the exam for 40%

How to use this book.
This book can only help you organise your coursework if you a) understand what you are trying to achieve and b) follow the guide in this book.

The deadlines.
The exam board say that the GCSE coursework should take 40 hours of work. This covers the design work in the folder and making your product(s). the making should take more time than the designing.

40 hours is approximately 43 lessons at 55 mins per lesson., at 3 lessons per week this is some 14.5 weeks, or roughly a term.

NOTE: this is the lesson time allocated and does not include any extra time you use at home for homework or during the holidays.

If you start at the May half term you should be able to finish just after the Oct half term in year 11. This will then include 2 half term holidays and the summer holidays in which you can be working on your folder work. If we allow to Christmas in year 11 then you will have an extra 7 weeks to perfect your work.

You will only achieve this if you are organised and work to the deadlines.

On the other hand you will most certainly not achieve this if you do not do any work outside the classroom.
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About This Instructable


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Bio: Retired technology teacher - 2 kids, I have an Hons deg in Design and Technology - 28 years as Computer systems engineer Trained as Electronics engineer in ... More »
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