Saturday 18 Jan 2020
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American Design Drafting Association


President's Message

ADDA's Mission....
"Support and Prepare the Design Profession
            to Preserve the Past and Imagine the Future.”

I recently read this article and thought it was worth sharing with some additional notes.  It gives a good insight to what we need to be considering as we continue to teach and certify those seeking the Design Drafting Fields as a Career Option.

Design, Drafting, Architecture and Engineering are the processes used to identify and solve problems. There are many paths and disciplines used to do this, such as Civil, Aerospace, Automotive, HVAC, Electrical and more.

Design Drafting is powerful approach to problem solving and is flexible enough to work in almost any situation. Individuals must learn important information about both the problem and possible solutions at each step or phase of the process.  The process always begins with an explicit goal.

Individuals must choose solutions that include the most desired features and fewest negative characteristics. But they must stay within the limitations of the given scenario, which could include time, cost, and the physical limits of tools and materials.

It is a process that includes steps that can be repeated, although not always in the same order. Steps include things like planning, This process is often done in small teams that include people with different kinds of knowledge and experience.  Individuals are continuously communicating with clients, team members, and others.

Science is commonly described as the study of the natural world through observation and experimentation. In PreK-12 settings, it usually refers to “natural” sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, and earth, space, and environmental sciences. Like engineers, scientists also use a reasoning process to solve problems: scientific inquiry.

Science is a large portion of the Design process.  They too use tools such as brainstorming, process reasoning,  mental models, and visual representations.  Scientists use these tools to ask questions about the world around us and try to deduce rules that explain the patterns we see. Engineers use them to modify the world to satisfy people’s needs and wants.

In the real world today, engineering, architecture and science cannot be neatly separated. Scientific knowledge informs engineering design, and many scientific advances would not be possible without technological tools developed by engineers.

What does it look like in Prek-12 Education?   All PreK-12 engineering experiences involve some form of the engineering design process. However, the process does not look the same for every experience. Numerous engineering education programs for K-12 students have been developed in recent years, and many include their own version of what design should be..

Engineering design also tends to be described differently for students of different ages, and students of specific geographic regions around the country.  Older students are often provided more specifics and challenged with more complex problems.   What works well for one classroom or after-school program may not as well in another.

In the big picture, STEM and STEAM are bringing back the common sense visualization that 40 years ago was a natural part of growing up and our culture.  We had to learn the  basics of electricity by being shocked a few time, how combustion engines worked by mowing the lawn or working on our mini-bike or car, We worked belt and pully systems by buillding a zip line in the back yard, we figured rocket power through fireworks and uncooth ideas.  We were taught many other engineering basics through our relatives, the guy at the mechanic shop, pushing a lawnmower, repairing our bicycle and other outside very creative and activities.   Not to mention the CRASH and BURN system that taught us what not to do again.

Think about teaching how things work in our everyday world and the rest will follow.  A friend of mine owns a 100 year old hardware store.  He has told me about  customers that do not know the basics of how a toilet works, (hydraulics), how to install or replace a light switch or an outlet (basic electricity), how use straps and pulleys (physics),  Understand installing picture hangers or choosing the right connector (strengths of materials).  How about how your heater, stove or hvac system works, etc.  With this knowledge, we expand the capabilities and abilities of our aging youth and lay the foundation of the complex and fascinating world of design, drafting, engineering and architecture. 

So often in our current design drafting programs we tend to focus on the software to create and make our ideas visual.  However, we must consider the need for causing the visual project to be a reality.  That is, every thing that is created has a purpose, is driven, operated or put into motion by some type of phisical process. 

ADDA can assist you with bringing the whole package to the classroom with our Curriculum Certification or Instructor Certification.  In the 1970's NASA had taken a lot of good-ole common sense farm boys and made them the greatest engineers in the world.  How ?  They employed engineers with fundamentals of how things work like motors, fuel, hydralics, electricity and mechanics and said... Put a Man on the Moon.

Floyd McWilliams


Instructors, ADDA is now proud to offer Instructor Certification at three levels of certification: Certified Instructor, Professional Instructpr and Master Instructor.  Each level requires different amounts of experience and education in a specific area of design drafting instruction.  Those areas of instruction are Architectural, Mechanical, General and Digital.  ADDA believes that this will become more important and possibly a requirement as schools, school districts and state departments of education look for industry certification of their instructional staff.  Please check our website for additional information.

In closing, I would like to remind all of you, member or non-member, that the ADDA is the only organization that totally supports the drafting/design profession with continuing education for professionals and soon to be professionals within the drafting/design profession.  Check out what ADDA has to offer!

Remember ADDA is a 501c3 non-profit volunteer association.  All our directors and committees donate their time and effort to improve the profession to benefit other drafters, designers and graphic professionals.  If you would like to assist with any program or be involved with a committee or specific area, please contact me.  Most of our volunteer opportunities can be accomplished through emails and telephone calls.  Volunteering will give you exposure at the next level in your career to improve your network, job skills and personal development.

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