Designing Products of the Future

stem week 4

First thing, students collected their name-tags from last week’s 3D Printing workshop.

Then it was down to work! This week our teams faced challenges on both the STEM and entrepreneurial front.

They warmed up their minds by brainstorming all the issues facing humanity and the environment they could think of. These included many topical issues such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, single use plastics, homelessness, disease, terrorism, war, xenophobia, Trump, Brexit, over and under population, obesity, antibiotic resistance,  high crime rates and then a few outside the box such as alien invasion and a zombie apocalypse.

Students learned that there is no wrong answer when brainstorming and not to be over critical at this early stage of the process. It is quantity not quality to start with. After the ideas are written down it’s time to condense and hone them. Then prototyping and testing can begin.

Jake led them through the creative process needed to invent something useful. This process includes asking many questions such as Who are you designing for? What issues are they facing? What problem would it solve? Phrase the issue as a question e.g. How might we reduce plastic usage?’ and then try to address it.

Jake then set the teams the practical challenges of not only inventing a product but also making a promotional video and poster for the product. They were told to imagine it is 32 years later i.e. 2050 and that they have no limits in terms of resources and technical advances. Jake asked them to think of life 32 years ago: 1989 –how much has life changed since then? Internet, smartphones, social media…. What could be possible in 2050?

And so began a flurry of activity as students brainstormed, discussed, debated, created, designed and filmed their products of the future. They learned how to work well together and  how to best utilise their individual skills so that they could complete all aspects of the project on time.

There was some incredible creativity and productivity on show including products such as a teleporting travel card, a box that makes food and glasses that have face recognition and can tell you who the person is and how you know them!

Students worked very hard and really enjoyed the session especially creating a product and making their videos on Movie Maker.  Their achievements were teamwork and how best to use their individual skills within a team, thinking of the ideas and coming to agreement on all aspects of the project.

Today’s session gave them a good taster of what to expect at the upcoming Show and Share and Hackathon events.

Watch this Space…

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