Those final May 2011 examinations seem far away now – but thought it was useful to quickly review Paper 2. Unlike some of the questions on paper 1 – I found paper 2 to be well worded in most senses and used some interesting stem designs.

Question 1 regarding  the Segway was a very fair question for students – although unsure on whether students should really know how to convert from Kilometres to Miles and back again. I hope a number of others have written a G2 form to see if this was an error or mistake?

Glad to see they mentioned James Dyson and one of his early inventions on Question 2 – and does highlight what a great example he is and one to make sure all students are introduced to. Have not seen many of his ball wheelbarrows around recently however – I wonder if there was a number of deign issues in the long term.

Question 3 – highlighted the importance that students have covered all manufacturing process set down in the syllabus – even one as obscure as filament winding and especially as this is quite a strange example so might have confused a number of students. Here is an example of filament winding which shows the basic process which I have used with students – although as you can see does not translate that easily to the chair production.


Questions 4 – Injection Moulding and Blow Moulding questions should be gifts to any students. Question 5 and 6 were also pretty straight forward and logical.

When it came to Section B – our students seemed to favour Question 7 – on the Tandem Sling Chair although I would have thought that Question 8 was the easier looking at Solar Energy and Sustainable Design of Buildings for Energy Use. One piece of advice we give to all our students is that now Paper 2 exams are e-marked and so there are boxes in which the students must write this should not deter students from asking for extra sheets especially on the 9 mark questions. The size of the box seems very small for a students to be able to discuss through enough points to receive the full 9 marks. So for example in 8 c (ii) by the time you had explained – daylighting, insulation use, thermal mass, location of windows and building, using earth and roof planting etc – I would suggest placing that into 18 lines would be very tricky.

What did everyone else think – if you have any comments it would be interesting to here.