Design Technology GCSE Results – Would a Custom USB Project Help

As the dust starts to settle on the recently announced GCSE results schools and teachers will no doubt now start to look at how they can continue to improve upon this years results. In Design Technology (DT) where there was a wide spread of results with D’s to U’s making up over 36% of the marks awarded one of the challenges is engaging with the students and getting them to think about a product or an idea that excites them.

If you can get the students fired up and interested in a design project then it follows that they are more likely to take an interest in the wider concepts and challenges of product design, product specification, manufacturing processes, packaging and marketing. Some students will need more of a steer than others and some will no doubt prefer to work within a class project or framework that includes a group of them.

One area worthy of consideration because its meets these criteria is a project to design and build a unique custom USB flash drive. Most students will be familiar with USB flash drives with many of them using flash drives to store data, music files, media files and hopefully homework. Typical USB flash drives that are available to buy in the UK are standard rectangular shaped drives that are functional but they don’t always excite.


So, the opportunity for DT teachers is to set their students a challenge to design, build, package and develop a marketing plan for their own custom USB flash drives, perhaps a flash drive that appeals to a specific market niche or a USB flash drive that has a unique design or function. The internal components of a USB flash drive (this is a single PCB that includes the flash memory and the flash controller chips) are readily available from suppliers like USB2U. The challenge is then to design the “shell” into which the PCB sits.

The completed customised USB flash drive will work and function just like any regular flash drive.  Designs that are considered good enough could always be put forward to USB companies as potential products to take to market. The promotional sector is a big user of branded USB flash drives and is always looking for new and innovative designs.

Custom USB Ideas

Whilst a project to design a new design for a USB flash drive won’t in itself lift the overall pass marks for the DT GCSE it could be just the “spark” to get more students actively engaged in the subject and get involved in a “hands-on” project that they can relate to.

For information on prices for USB Flash Drive PCB’s and tips and advice on how to use them as part of a self build project get in touch with the team at USB2U.

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