Last Monday we launched the City X Project as part as our “Inventors and Inventions” unit.
During the workshop students are learning the value of empathy, creative thinking, and problem solving, in the context of a society whose citizens face real-world challenges.
Students were introduced to the challenges in City X. Each student was assigned a Citizen with a problem to solve. We are using the Design Process to solve this problems: Empathy, (understand) Define, (describe)
Ideate, (create) Prototype, Test
Some students were able to understand and define their citizen’s problem while for others it was really hard to empathize and also define/describe the problem. Those stages are crucial in the process because in the next one, ideate, students start to brainstorm ideas to figure out a way to solve the problem.
Working in small groups listening and sharing each other’s citizen problem helped students to define their own in a better way.
During our third session, students were ready to ideate and start prototyping their ideas. They learned that a prototype is a model of their ideas. They had some play dough and 10 minutes to create a prototype. After that they got together with a partner and in small groups and gave feedback to each other.
Using feedback is essential to improve an invention. Learners were testing their prototypes and making changes to find the best way to solve their citizen’s problem. Some students realized that the prototype they made didn’t really help, or wasn’t good enough to solve their citizen’s problem and went back to the ideate stage of the process and their list of ideas to gather a better one.
At the end, most of the students were ready sharing their prototypes and making the necessary changes so they named their prototype and wrote down a description of their invention.
Today students started 3D modelling, not with play dough but using the app 123D Design.
Some of them are already done and next week we’ll start 3D printing them.
I had some volunteers and the innovation team coming in and helping me with this whole new project. Their support was greatly appreciated.