The keystone of Drew's Engineering Design program is the use of design thinking to solve real-world programs. Tenth and eleventh grade Engineering students teamed up with third grade Engineering students to address the lack of book access in some Atlanta neighborhoods. After studying the vital role literacy plays in predicting future success, students designed and built free book exchanges called Little Free Libraries (LFLs) to donate to communities where free book access is scarce.
Phase I: Researching, Designing + Building the LFLs
Senior Academy Engineering students conducted extensive research to identify “book deserts” within the perimeter and used thier findings to determine where they would place their completed LFLs. They then moved on to the design and construction stages of the project and built about 15 LFLs with the help of the third grade students.
Phase II: Atlanta Maker Faire
Students had the opportunity to share their research at the Atlanta Maker Faire in October and invited visitors to help build Little Free Libraries with them.
They also sold DIY LFL construction kits and fully assembled libraries, as well as raffle tickets to win an LFL.
LITTLE FREE LIBRARY ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS
Senior Academy Engineering students wrote the following assembly instructions for those who purchased a DIY Little Free Library construction kit. Contact Beth White at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
You can also download a PDF of the instructions here:
Phase III: Designing a Kid-Friendly LFL
Senior Academy students then designed prototypes for an LFL that would specifically interest 8-year-olds, challenging them to design with the user in mind. They presented their prototypes to the third graders and asked them to provide feedback. The younger engineers then voted on the LFL that most captured their attention. SA students will build the winning design after implementing the suggested improvements.