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Overview Instructions

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That thin metal box at school where you cram all your stuff? Lockers aren't designed for students today. In fact, the design of lockers hasn't changed since the days of your great grandparents!

But in the School of the Future things could be different. Reimagine the design of a 21st century locker you would need as a Maker. A locker you could use to keep all of your stuff for making!

Let's get started on the challenge to redesign your school locker.

The student did not provide any content for this step.


I am looking forward to seeing and reading about your locker design. It is an interesting challenge. Be sure to post all of your sketches and concepts as this will help the viewers of your project to understand your process.
Best of luck this year

This is a good start. I am curious about your statement about sharing a locker with a classmate. Are the lockers big enough to accommodate coats and books for two people? It would be helpful to complement your sketch with a drawing and or photos of an existing locker. With the drawing, provide some dimensions so that you can compare the scale of the existing and your proposed. If you are suggesting larger lockers, how will they fit in the school?

One of the main challenges with a locker (and not all that different from a house or an apartment) is that every student wants to personalize the locker and make it their own. However, the student only controls the locker for the school year and eventually it will be passed on to other students. How can you reconcile this dilemma? How does your design address students of different heights? Age? Girls vs Boys?

Your idea of a security code touch pad is a great one. Much better than trying to remember a lock. I also think the food and fridge are an interesting concept, as well as the space for a laptop and an ipod dock. As part of your presentation, you could include images from magazines or the web of all of these elements. This would help to illustrate your overall concept.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing how your design continues to progress.

Thank you, I will have all of your suggestions done as soon as possible.


Please put a picture of the inside and outside of your current locker up in the "collect information" area.


Nancy. We want to hear from you! It would be very helpful if you could respond and comment here. Tell us more about what you are thinking so we can better understand your design and ideas. Thanks.


I need to see more sketches and a respose to Joe's commments. You state that there is not enough room for two people's belongings. What are you doing to address that?
You say that there is not enough room for books but in the future will students even need books and in turn a space to store them. Shouldn't the locker be able adapt to changing conditions/needs/wants? Think, think, think, be creative, the locker of tomorrow does not look like the locker from the 50's.

Okay. New sketch will be done.

Collect Instructions

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Gather more information about your existing school lockers by taking photos, sketching, conducting interviews, or doing additional research.

Think About

  • What is the purpose of a school locker?
  • How has the way you use a locker changed since you first started school in kindergarten, for example?
  • How many times do you visit and open your locker each day?
  • Do teachers or school administrators have any safety or security concerns about lockers?  What are they?
  • What types of materials is your locker constructed from?

Try This

  • Take photos of a row of your school's lockers.  Open your own locker and take a photo of what's stored inside.
  • Make a list of all the features your locker currently has. (Examples: hooks, air slots, etc.)
  • Make a list of all the items you currently keep in your locker on a typical day.
  • Next to each item, make notes about what 'needs' that item has.  (Examples: my sweaty gym clothes need to kept away from my other things; my iPod needs electricity to be charged; my winter boots need a place to drip dry)
  • Make a list of all the items you wish you could store in your locker, but don’t have room for.
  • Measure the length, height, and depth of your current locker.
  • Measure the length, height, and depth of your backpack, books, coat / shoes, and other large objects you typically keep inside your locker.
  • Measure the width of your school's hallway.  How much of this width is taken up on both sides of the hallway when students stand in front of their open lockers?
  • Read this Washington Post article to learn more about some of the complaints students have with their lockers today.
  • Visit the websites of a few manufacturers to see various types of lockers currently made.  What do you like or dislike about these examples?

nancywanzy's work for the Collect Information step:

What is the purpose of a locker?
The purpose of a locker is for one to have their belongings safe in a place where no one else can have access to.

How was the way you use your locker changed since kindergarten?
In kindergarten we only had hooks where our backpacks and coats would be hung. Throughout elementary I didn’t have access to lockers until high school where I was to share lockers with a classmate I trusted.

How many times a day do you visit your locker?
2-3 times

Do teachers and school administrators have safety and security concerns?
Yes, they are concerned of what is stored in the locker for example weapons or drugs.

What types of the materials are lockers made from?
Lockers are made from metal

Brainstorm Instructions

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Develop sketches or models to help you puzzle through new ideas and solutions.

Think About

  • Make a list of all the things you like about your current locker.  Ask several friends for their opinions.
  • Make a list of all the things you dislike about your current locker.  Ask several friends for their opinions.
  • Think about your locker not just as a metal box, but as another type of container.  What other types of containers do you use each day to store stuff?  (Examples: containers for food, clothing, household items)
  • Many animals, insects, and plants use containers to store things (Example: bees use honeycombs).  Check out some of the images in the Inspiration Gallery for other ideas of strorage units.
  • Keep in mind that your newly-designed locker will be one of many along the hallway.  How will these individual units all fit together?  How will several students use their lockers at the same time without bumping into each other?

Try This

  • Based on the information you collected above, brainstorm a list of special features you’d like your new locker to have.
  • Make lots of sketches to get your early ideas down on paper.  Learn from each different idea. 
  • Consider what materials the locker will be made from.  What materials will be durable against the wear and tear of student use over the years?

nancywanzy's work for the Brainstorm Ideas step:

This is a simple sketch of the locker I would have designed with the features I want.

Things I like about my locker:
• I can keep stuff in my locker and knowing it is safe
• The one shelf to place the books
• The hooks to place my jacket or sweater
Thing I don’t like about my locker:
• It is small and crowded
• The lock that is placed can take time to open
• I share lockers that it takes place
• Not all the books fit in the shelf for two people
• The way that they are put together is crowded for the person next to you to open it.
The locker I would make would be made out of metal because the locker needs to be made good enough to support strength with the objects that would be placed in the locker.

Develop Instructions

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Now's the time to take what you've learned from the steps above and develop your own solution for a new locker.

Try This

  • Use recycled cardboard to make a full-scale or half-scale prototype model of your locker.  You can't really understand if the locker will hold all your stuff, until you make a quick study model.  Don't worry about making a fancy finished model at this time. Instead, use cardstock, scissors, and tape to quickly create the large 3D form. See how it looks. Break off different sections, add new pieces, and try new ideas. Take photos of your model.
  • Sketch or use software such as Google SketchUp, AutoCAD, or Revit to put your ideas on paper.

nancywanzy's work for the Develop Solutions step:

The student did not provide any content for this step.

Final Instructions

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The final step of the design process is to create a more finished model that communicates your ideas to others.

Try This

  • What color or colors will your locker be? What colors have inspired you?  Add colors to the digital model of your locker.
  • What materials will your locker be made of?  Choose materials and details to add to your digital model.
  • Include a human figure in your final locker model, so we can see how big your locker really is.
  • Upload additional images of your finished locker model to the slides for your project.  Write short captions explaining your ideas.
  • Congratulations on solving this design challenge!

nancywanzy's work for the Final Design step:

The student did not provide any content for this step.