French American International School News

View All News
8th-grade student uses Design Lab to prototype yo-yo
Posted 09/16/2014 11:30AM

Eighth-grade student Elliot Irving loves to yo-yo. This past summer Elliot took the hobby a step further and decided to design his very own unresponsive yo-yo. "[It's] a yo-yo meant for tricks," says Elliot, "and it doesn't come up when you tug on it. It requires a bind to come up."

On a road trip to Washington, Elliot's family took a detour and stopped in Eugene, Oregon to visit a yo-yo company called One Drop.

I got a tour of their manufacturing facility and they explained how all the machines worked and what the process was. When I told them that I had designed my own yo-yo, they were thrilled. They helped me make some tweaks, such as widening areas, replacing bearing seats, etc. It was awesome.

As soon as Elliott found out there was a 3D printer at school he had a project in mind. "I was so excited and the first thing that popped into my head was to prototype the yo-yo." Elliot has been spending his lunchtime in the school's brand new design lab with his Design Tech teacher Barbara Abecassis to design and engineer his own yo-yo. "He built it in 3D cad," says Abecassis, "and we used the 3D printer to test it as a prototype."

When asked about the toy he designed, Elliott says, "it is usable, but very limited to tricks. It can spin for about 9 seconds and it is responsive because of the slightly abrasive plastic. I am really happy with the shape I designed as I had no idea what it would feel like in hand. The next step is to machine it out of aluminum!"

Yo-Yo Prototype by Elliot Irving

About the Design Lab & Design Tech Courses

The Design Lab is a collaborative learning environment where conceptual thinking and brainstorming happen. The room is equipped with state-of-the art design and engineering tools and software, including:
  • 3D printer
  • 3D digitizer
  • Laser cutter
  • Foam cutter
  • Auto Cad
  • 3DS Max
  • Sketch up
  • Power tools

Design Tech courses are taught in 9th grade, 10th grade and as an introductory course in 8th grade. The Design Tech curriculum is a design process and project-based learning program that provides students with a lively, collaborative and dynamic environment in which they are required to push their experimentation beyond the visual and think outside the box.


"Research shows that younger children have a superior ability to learn a second language and that bilingual students tend to outperform their monolingual peers."

Admission Information

Visit our admissions section to learn about our bilingual immersion in the lower and middle school. Or visit our high school to learn about the French Bac or IB program.

Global Travel

Many cultural and linguistic trips as well as student exchanges are offered each year. Learn more

Academic Roadmap

The school delivers a rigorous bilingual immersion program from PK3 to grade 8, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

The Bilingual Advantage

The bilingual education program of the French American International School provides our students with a springboard for a global perspective. The curriculum is taught in English and French in a way that makes learning exciting and challenging, while meeting the high standards of the French and American educational systems.

French American International School

Main building

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Ph: 415.558.2000


Early Childhood Center

1155 Page Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

Ph: 415.231.5733

An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

powered by finalsite