Day One – written by STEM Facilitator, Bori Kim
The wait is over! Sisters4Science Spring Exploration (Spring Break Camp) has started at Funston Elementary School. Innovation Launchpad by Motorola Mobility Foundation finally met 17 middle school girls (Grade 6-8) in Logan Square Neighborhood. Ms. Eve and Ms. Lexie, our first guest-speakers, and facilitators greeted the girls as they stepped into the door. They all looked very shy. They were a bit hesitant sitting at a table, even saying “Good Morning.”
Our Program Manager, Ms. Jaclyn Carmichael broke the silence and introduced the team to the girls: Motorola team and the facilitators, Ms. Magaly Perez and me, Ms. Bori Kim. Ms. Eve Bills, a Product Manager at Motorola started the icebreaker. “We are going to interview partners and get to know one another. Interview skills are a big part of what we are doing throughout the week. Let’s find partners. Someone you do not know or from your neighbor schools,” said Ms. Eve handing out the interview question sheets. The girls had only 4 minutes to interview their partners and be interviewed. This was where the girls got exposed to the quick interview with a few questions that are significant to the research. Real life experience has begun!
Four minutes slipped by and it was a time to share what they have learned while being interviewed. Before the girls introduced their partners, Ms. Lexi, Magaly, Ms. Eve, and I set an example by modeling. The girls were still shy. They were whispering as they introduced their partners to the whole group. No worries, yet! We have 4 more days to learn interview and presentation skills with presentable voice throughout the week.
Ms. Eve moved onto the introductory part of “Product Development.” This was a base line for us to build a prototype. Yes, the girls will be designing and making a prototype and even get to promote their products! Before getting into the hands-on work, the girls should know what product is and means. Ms. Eve brought a lot of images and the girls had to find out which one is product or not—this is where the girls came up with their own definitions.
“Something to sell”
“Something that makes life easier”
“Something that is used in a daily basis”
The girls started to voice up as they were sharing the definitions. Based on the definitions we’ve come up with, there were three key words to describe what a good product is meant to be. Desirable. Feasible. Viable.
For the second part of the day, Ms. Lexi gave a short lesson on “User-Centered Product.” “Before we actually create a product, we do research first to know what people need. Product is made based on our needs,” said Ms. Lexi. She called out one volunteer and had her wear a glove one hand. The hand with that glove is broken. Sahian had to open a peanut butter jar with only one hand. She did open it, but it wasn’t as easy as with both hands. This how researchers see the needs.
Finally, the girls got to do their own research by interviewing their partners. They were not just interviewing each other, but had to form appropriate questions first. Excited! The girls were so much engaged in “interviews.” They loved finding the needs to improve our communications.
Can’t wait to see their problem statements!