With the Grade 4 studying Maya culture, we allocated the Term 2 intensive project to have the students craft original Maya-styled masks. We wanted the student group to develop engineering, woodworking, and creative experience and skill through the process. Identifying and deepening Design Thinking and Engineering Cycle awareness, we decided to have the students upcycle wood off-cuts from a comprehensive collection of wood types and sizes.
Beginning with an understanding of the type of shapes used in the crafting of Maya masks and the cultural beliefs behind their creation, the students started ideating possibilities.
Ready with A3-sized sketches of their design, the students began collecting the materials they needed to fabricate their masks. We provide access to all available materials in the Foundry, including wood, metal, plastics, fabrics and decorative materials.
We also provide access to all the Foundry tools and machines. Again, with safety in mind, some tools require adult operation or VERY close monitoring.
Others, once we have demonstrated safe operational techniques, the students use. We always keep a close eye on what is happening in the space.
The students used a variety of tools and machines to get their mask shapes created, including Japanese pull saws, hand chisels, sandpaper or various grit, disc sanders, band saw, clamps, wood glue and hot glue (a little).
After shaping and placing their components, they began to decorate their masks. Each group worked for a total of six hours and completed a fabulous array of Maya Styles Masks.
The creativity the students displayed once again brought a smile to our faces.
Grade 4 did an excellent job!
See more photographs HERE.
The Foundry team encourages all students to recognise and apply Design Thinking and Engineering Design processes to their project development, and subsequent constructional iterations.