Innovation Shines at Middle School Design Showcase


Middle School students at Western Academy of Beijing put their diverse design skills on display at the first-of-its-kind Design Showcase in November.

Over the course of the school year, students will work on three different projects related to product or digital design. A new program at WAB gave them the power to choose units of interest that allow them explore their passions.

The digital unit gave students the chance to create a virtual reality (VR) maze using the Unity engine, learning the skills to create a viable, believable environment in VR. They took into account lighting, sound, layout and more to bring their ideas to life.

The product unit encouraged students to create innovative mask designs for a theoretical up-and-coming superhero or musician who wanted to hide their identity on stage, like Deadmau5 or Sia. They created 3D shapes and features to add to one of two mask bases to create colorful, unique products.

In Grade 8 the students created storage systems for a real-life client or situations. They had the opportunity to innovate security solutions and build creative designs to serve as a functional and attractive storage option for their client.

"Teachers in the Design Department decided to create the showcase as a celebration of the great work that our Middle School students have done in the first part of this year," said Design Teacher Ray Gentleman, who helped organized the event. "Like designers in real life, we wanted the students to share their ideas and experiences with other members of the community, in the hope of growing their ideas and developing their confidence to share and justify their choices."

Read more about Learning in the Middle School here.