On August 23rd the students will present their projects in the form of a pitch, as if they were trying to sell their idea as entrepreneurs. There will be a panel of judges to listen to the presentations and they will determine who is the winning group based on certain criteria. There will be a prize for the winning group that will be revealed in the next blog once the competition is over.
We began July with week 4 of the Seminar Series. This was the week where the students focused on their problem and began to develop it in order to have a clear idea as to what exactly is the problem they wish to solve. The tool they were taught to develop their problem is called The Problem Tree. The tree is a representation of their problem. The roots represent the origins or the causes of the problem. The trunk represents the central problem. It can be looked at as the central problem statement. That is to say, “Due to (root of problem) this happens (trunk).”. Finally the branches and the leaves represent the consequences and effects of the problem. What is the problem causing in their community or society? The students made their trees on poster paper and it helped them greatly in really breaking down the task at hand. Up next was another tool called the 3 H’s. This was another empathy tool that forces the students to figuratively put themselves in the body of the person affected by the problem they wish to solve. The 3 H’s stand for Head, Hand, and Heart. The 3 H’s ask you to think about what does the affected person think? (Head), what does the affected person do? (Hand), and what does the affected person feel? (Heart). Using this tool you get an idea of where need may be and where the need is you can better understand what you need to solve.
Week 5 we continued developing our problem and from there create a “problem statement”. It was time to enter the second step in the Design Thinking process: define. Using all the information they had gathered using their empathy tools, the students had to create their “point of view” and “problem statement”. The point of view identifies the user/affected person, what they need, and why they need what they need. These three bits of information are then made into a problem statement, which serves as the definition of your problem. This definition is useful in guiding you to the proper solution that truly solves the problem; you’ve recognized your user/person affected, what they specifically need, and why they need it or why it satisfies their necessity. This is what transitions us to the third step of the Design Thinking process: brainstorming ideas.
An update on the school emergency source and the dam. In July we worked a lot on finding a solid tube configuration from the dam intake to about 15 feet downriver. This configuration focuses on using the rock bed where the dam is placed to protect the tubes from strong flooding and use the west side of the stream to keep the tubes safe from a strong water flow. Students accompanied me every day I went up to the source and slowly but surely Wilfredo and the students are becoming the real caretakers of the dam and the source.