TDJ Technological Design

Technological Design Grade 10

This course provides students with opportunities to apply a design process to meet a variety of technological challenges. Students will research projects, create designs, build models and/or prototypes, and assess products and/or processes using appropriate tools, techniques, and strategies. Student projects may include designs for homes, vehicles, bridges, robotic arms, clothing, or other products. Students will develop an awareness of environmental and societal issues related to technological design, and will learn about secondary and postsecondary education and training leading to careers in the field.

To watch the Course Selection Technological Design Q & A meeting recording here.

SATEC’s Project Gallery:



Our ‘warm up’ project!

Initial projects, such as this, introduce our students to…

  • the design process
  • wood theory
  • general workplace & woodshop safety
  • production of technical drawing
  • scale, proportion and measurement
  • hand tool skills
  • woodshop equipment skills (belt/disk sander, drill press, scroll saw, band saw)
  • wood finishing skills 

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The CO2 Dragster is one of our most popular projects.  It focuses on the principles of vehicle engineering. Students research scientific topics inclusive of aerodynamics, drag, friction, etc. Then we watch real dragster videos, seek out images of car designs and blend this inspiration into our own concept dragster designs.  We begin by hand sketching. These designs are then transferred into 3D AutoCAD or Inventor Pro.  Wind tunnel testing followings.  Depending on the results, alterations to the designs are considered.  From here, we go into the woodshop to make our ideas come to life!  It is in the woodshop that real problem solving skills come to play as we attempt to execute, with accuracy, our own design intentions.  After sanding, sanding and more sanding of our dragsters, we are almost ready to race.  


RACE DAY setup is an excellent example of all students working together to prepare for the big event.  Statistics are recorded on the blackboard, students vote for who they think will win (based on our recently acquired knowledge) and results are tallied.


RACE DAY is awesome fun!

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Race Day Videos:



Here at SATEC we believe that 3D Printing is an integral technology for our existing society, and it will continue to be even more important in the future.  3D Printing touches almost every aspect of our lives… healthcare, transportation, hospitality and tourism, architecture and so on! 


Each year our students explore different themes and create their own ‘keychain’ designs.  In the past we have created ‘environmental mascots.’ These mascots were designed to promote care and consideration for our environment both close to home and abroad.  In the spring of 2017, we explored the theme of ‘careers’ and asked ourselves... ‘How is 3D Printing incorporated into aspects of our future jobs?’


Can you guess what these students hope to study and work at in the future?




The cedar plank project is simple… each student receives a 6” x 18” cedar plank with which they must employ the design process to create a unique, useful product.  


Steps involved:

  • Concept design
  • Technical drawing
  • Measuring and marking the wood
  • Building the project in the woodshop
  • Finishing by sanding and oiling
  • Creating a portfolio sheet
  • Reflecting on our learning & discussing transferable skills


As a child we have all dreamt of climbing up into a treehouse to enter an imaginary world.  It is this freedom to imagine that inspires our treehouse model designs here in the SATEC TDJ2O classroom.  


By researching environmentally conscious architectural principles, such as thermal massing, greenhouse effect, solar orientation, solar shading and prevailing wind protection by trees, stack effect, green roofs, etc., we begin to understand that good design is well considered design.  Adding to this knowledge, we then explore cool treehouse designs from around the world to feed our imagination.  Scale and proportion mean everything to the treehouse experience; we measure ourselves ‘acting out’ our programming needs - sleeping and sitting outside having a hot chocolate. Once we know how tight our spaces have to be, we are ready to design!


Off we go to create design sketches, technical drawings and final scale models of our dream ‘home’ floating up and away in the leaves...


The Hovercraft project is a blend of engineering principles, understanding materiality and creative problem solving.  Students research and design their concept Hovercraft.  Inventor Pro is used to create technical drawings.  From here, it is into the wood shop to build prototypes.


Do you think they hover?  It is a challenge that is not as easy as you may think to solve...

Technological Design Grade 11

This course examines how technological design is influenced by human, environmental, financial, and material requirements and resources. Students will research, design, build, and assess solutions that meet specific human needs, using working drawings and other communication methods to present their design ideas. They will develop an awareness of environmental, societal, and cultural issues related to technological design, and will explore career opportunities in the field, as well as the college and/or university program requirements for them.


AutoDESK Inventor Pro is a parametric drawing software used extensively in manufacturing applications.  At SATEC we learn the basics of how to create 3D ‘part’ models that are fully constrained and have equation based relationships within their measurements.  From here, these parts and then joined together into 3D ‘assembly’ models that illustrate how the project will be actually assembled / built. Once this base information is drawn, students create technical working drawings that they use in the wood shop to build their prototypes.





The Wood Joinery Box (or puzzle) is a challenging project where accurate measuring and marking of wood and accurate use of hand tools - chisel, mallet, dovetail saw - are required.


Students soon learn that patience is as important a skill as strategic planning, crisp pencil lines and straight cuts! Good luck to all! 

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It is in the Grade 11 TDJ3M course that we focus heavily on developing our woodshop safety knowledge and skills.  The initial curriculum taught covers workplace safety and employee rights, as well as the purpose of (and how to use) the woodshops safety features and their purpose.


The equipment students will be trained include the belt/disk sander, drill press, scroll saw, bandsaw, jointer planer, thickness planer and the table saw.


Students will learn how to take rough lumber and create from it ‘true’ boards.  The term ‘true’ refers to boards that are square and straight on all six sides.


Further to equipment use, we practice our ‘hand’ at using hand tools.  This is quite challenging and is often the first opportunity students have to try creating with wood using chisels, saws, clamps, etc.  Prior to any cutting, SATEC students focus on measuring and marking accuracy; we use sharp pencils, metal rulers, tri-squares and marking gauges to achieve this.  


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  rough wood               jointer planer        thickness planer          table saw                     ‘true’ board



+ +

          tri - square                      sharp pencil                     marking gauge            accurately marked wood



+++ =

back saw                           mitre box                   bevel chisel                   mallet                



The final project for our SATEC TDJ3M course encapsulates all the skills we have learned and practiced throughout the term.


Students have the opportunity to imagine a wood project, sketch their ideas, create technical drawings of each wood component and then enter the woodshop to create their project.


This is a challenging endeavor!  With the use of the design process, thoughtful planning and some patience, the quality of the final projects speak for themselves.


Well done TEAM!


Consumer product testing

Pick any consumer products and 

Testing mechanical pencils

Test soap


Make airplane improvement design





This course introduces students to the fundamentals of design advocacy and marketing, while building on their design skills and their knowledge of professional design practices. Students will apply a systematic design process to research, design, build, and assess solutions that meet specific human needs, using illustrations, presentation drawings, and other communication methods to present their designs. Students will enhance their problem-solving and communication skills, and will explore career opportunities and the postsecondary education and training requirements for them.




  • The objective of this project is to design and prototype a motorized glider.  
  • Test flights happened in the gym.


2012-4 - TDJ4M - Grade 12 Technological Design




SATEC competed to ‘float a boat’!  


The challenge presented to our Grade 12 Students was to use 2 pieces of 4x8 cardboard and some duct tape to create a boat.  The boat had to race the length of a pool carrying the maximum amount of weight.  It was a timed event.





F1 CO2 Race Car

Formula 1 racing is a big deal at SATEC!  Students have the opportunity to research and design their very own F1 race car.  Once the technical 3D drawings are completed, the CNC Router mills the body.  Sanding and painting are finished off.  Wheels and axles are mounted… now it is off to the races!








3D Puzzle

SATEC students love a good challenge.  What could be more difficult than to design and fabricate your own 3D puzzle?  All the designs were created using AutoDESK Inventor Pro.  The puzzles were made of wood and fabricated in our wood shop.






Residential Wood Frame Design

Using the design process, students first sketched their house plans and elevations.  Next these ideas were turned into digital 3D models using AutoCAD Architectural software.  From here, the students applied their new knowledge of wood frame construction and built scale models of the ground floor.







Wind Turbine Design

SATEC competed in a Wind Turbine Challenge held at Guelph University.

Firstly, working within teams, students studied different types of windmill blade construction.  3D computer models were created.  These models were then tested within a virtual wind tunnel program.  Once the results were analyzed, a fabrication plan was made.  Students build a prototype wind turbine and took it to Guelph.  


The competition day was both exciting and educational.  What a valuable engineering project!







Thinking Like Murdoch – 

Replicating the Work of an Innovator

The “A” in STEAM – 

Public Art

  • Tree Trunk Carving:  A Tech Design contribution to the celebration of  SATEC’s Fiftieth Anniversary -- the importance of our forests.
  • Reusable and Sustainable Consumption - Old Farm Part Art



  • Pedal Power Grinder – Mostly From Scrap Parts
  • Hybrid Pedal-Electric Trike – At Least a Good Start…  Regenerative braking was included in the design work – but wasn’t fabricated in time for this Photo-Op!
  • A team of SATEC students analyzed an old go-kart and then designed and built their own.


More Tech Design Support for Numeracy and Math Skills

  • Pencil Holder – Geometry, Centroid of a Triangle
  • Using Trigonometry in the Shop



Thinking Like Telford

  • SATEC Students Design a 36 Foot Long Wooden Model of the World’s First Modern Suspension Bridge
  • Close to 2,000 people viewed the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry during its two week exhibition at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Scarborough.  240 panels were displayed on this wooden model of the Menai suspension bridge. Although SATEC students did not build this 36 foot model, they were involved in designing it in SATEC Technological Design class.


Shop Improvements – 

Making Good on Re-Use and Sustainability

  • A significant aspect of technological design is to improve work processes. At SATEC, tech design students design and build devices, helper-tools, jigs and other items that improve the learning and work experience in the shop.
  • Wood Storage:  Our under-bench hardwood scrap storage box has low-profile student-designed rollers for ease of access.
  • Tool Storage:  This student team solution to optimize space for tool storage included the use of discarded library shelves.


A Very Realistic Engineering Learning Activity -

Research / Design / Build a Ladder to a National Safety Standard

  • After researching the nature and significance of national safety standards, student teams designed and built a ladder using the applicable Canadian National Standard – CSA Z11-12 “Portable Ladders”. At the end of this project, students gave presentations in front of staff from the Canadian Standards Association.


More Real World Innovation -

Design / Build a Wooden-Works Tall-Case Pendulum Clock

  • The pendulum clock was among the greatest innovations of all time. SATEC grade 12 Tech Design students followed the critical and creative thinking of some great innovators of centuries past as they reasoned their way to the design of a wooden-works tall-case pendulum clock.
  • Many parts for the wooden-works tall case pendulum clock were made by students in the SATEC wood shop. Hopefully a future senior tech design class will finish the assembly into a working clock.