Shark Tank Day! – Spring Break Exploration Day 5 Recap

Friday, April 10, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Magaly Perez

IMG_1524Practice, practice, practice! Our fifth and final day began with an icebreaker that allowed each group to present themselves and their product to the rest of the girls. The girls were also reminded that each presentation should be within four minutes, including 30-second pitches about themselves. Following the icebreaker, Ms. Eve had a short lesson prepared on what makes a good and bad pitch. The girls were shown a video of four kid entrepreneurs giving their product pitches. The video included sales pitches from Are You Kidding socks by the Kendall brothers, Zollipops by Alina Morse, Bee Sweet Lemonade by Mikaila Ulmer, and Super Business Girl. After watching each clip, the girls were asked to write whether the kid entrepreneurs had a problem statement and solution, an innovative product, and good presentation skills. Then as a whole group, the girls shared what they wrote and created a list of what makes a “Good Problem Statement”, an “Innovative Product”, and “Good Presentation Skills”.

IMG_20150410_152812554_HDR  After going through each list once more, the girls were reminded of the three things the judges were looking for; Most User-Focused Problem Statement, Most Innovative Prototype, and Best Presentation Skills. Before letting the girls continue working, Ms. Eve announced what the amazing prizes were going to be! The winners of each category would receive a wireless Bluetooth headset and the group that does best across all three categories would receive a Motorola E phone! The excitement was instantly felt in the classroom as the girls immediately started discussing their pitches within their groups. For the following hour and a half, the girls kept working on their product pitch, assigning parts, and perfecting their presentation. After giving the girls some time to work on their own, Ms. Eve, Ms. Angelina (another wonderful PE facilitator), and myself (Ms. Magaly) checked in with each group, listened to their complete presentation, and gave some feedback. By lunch time, all teams were feeling confident and ready to go! Before leaving for the Merchandise Mart, the girls had delicious pizza for lunch!

By 2 pm, the girls, parents, and staff had arrived at Merchandise Mart and checked in at the Motorola Headquarters for the main event! The girls were led up to the Chicago Theater to do final dry runs of their pitches on stage. While the girls IMG_20150410_154306855_HDRpracticed for 30 minutes, Ms. Sue and Ms. Monica held a reception for the parents and took them on a tour of the Motorola HQ and Merchandise Mart. Thirty minutes before showtime, the girls were able to change into their business attire and go on a short phone-testing lab tour with Ms. Kelly!

At 3:15 pm, it was time to start the show! Guests began to fill the seats as Ms. Eve welcomed everyone and introduce Innovation Launchpad. A short video of the spring break camp was shown which included pictures and IMG_20150410_162130171videos taken of the girls working throughout the week. Before being introduced by Ms. Eve, the girls warmed up for the big event with Ms. Kelly. The girls walked in looking fearless! The first team up was J.J.J.A. with their product, The New Revolutionary Anti-Crack Phone, which was guaranteed to never break and allowed each person to communicate their own style through customized built-in cases. The second team was Magic Techs with their product, Talk to Me, which aimed to prevent people from texting while driving by creating an app, steering wheel holder, and Bluetooth pen. The next group was Infinity & Beyond with Tap and Talk, which is an app that 14-DSC_0398allows blind people to easily make calls and use GPS on any phone. The following team was Shawties with their Motorola 500 AT product which includes a phone with a battery life of 3 days, as well as a solar charging case. The final team was Fantastic Four with Reliable Style, a compact and customized phone with a built-in chip that serves as a personal cell tower so one may have excellent reception at all times. The girls left us in awe with their amazing presentations! After congratulating the girls, all of our wonderful judges went off to make their final decisions. In the meantime, Ms. Kristen asked some of the girls to serve as a panel for the Women@Moto to interview as tech experts! Various women at Motorola IMG_20150410_163940959had plenty of questions to ask the girls from “What do you look for when choosing a phone?” to “Where do you use your phone the most?” Time flew by as the girls answered questions about one of their most important possessions, their phones!

With such great presentations, the judges took a bit more time to make their final decisions but it wasn’t long before they came back ready to announce the winners. The first prize announced was for “Best Presentation Skills” which was awarded to J.J.J.A.! J.J.J.A had great energy and knew their product so well that they hardly needed to look at their cue cards. The second prize was for Most Innovative Prototype which was awarded to Shawties for their originality and creativity in resolving the problem of low battery life. The final category of “Most User-Focused Problem Statement” resulted in a tie! Both, Infinity & Beyond and Magic Techs, had great problem statements that focused on a particular audience and provided a backstory. Each girl received the aforementioned Bluetooth headset as well as a certificate for successfully completing the Spring Break camp! As for the grand prize winner, the team that the judges IMG_1527believed did best across all three categories and won Motorola E phones was….. Fantastic Four!!! Fantastic Four focused on a major problem that phone companies are still trying to resolve, their prototypes were very detailed and understandable, and they were able to present it in a fun and creative way. Such a wonderful event came to an end as the girls posed for pictures with family, friends, and the wonderful people at Motorola that made this spring break camp possible. The girls did an amazing job with only a week’s worth of work. We couldn’t be more proud!

Thank you to all that made Innovation Launchpad possible. We can’t wait to do it again!


A Trip to the Mart! – Spring Break Exploration Day 4 Recap

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Ms. Bori Kim

DSC_0007Field Trip is finally here!  We informed the girls about this field trip since Day One.  So, the girls were getting very excited as the day was approaching.  How excited?  Everyone was on time!  They were supposed to meet us at the school entrance by 9:00am and the girls were all there even before 9:00am!

All girls signed in and got on the bus.  Through the bumpy road, the bus arrived at Merchandise Mart in Chicago downtown where Motorola Mobility Foundation is located.  The girls and the facilitators took the elevator to the 18th floor.   We were guided to take a wooden stair from the lobby and we were all stunned at a beautiful DSC_0041view when we got on the 19th floor.  There we met “Women@Moto”.  Women@Moto is a group of female professionals who works at Motorola.

We were so glad to see some of the familiar faces from the previous DSC_0083_2sessions.  Ms. Kelly, one of our guest speakers, led an icebreaker to have the girls feel comfortable.  We made a small circle and had to only move inside the circle to change our spot if we agree with a person who says, “I’m the one who likes…”  Ms. Kelly started it with “I’m the IMG_20150409_121251786one who likes dogs.” We all moved in the circle and kept going on until everyone got a turn to introduce themselves by making a statement: “I’m the one who likes…”  Our girls were not shy anymore.

The girls seemed a little more confident and comfortable than the previous days.  To help the girls with Shark Tank that was planned for the next day, Women@Moto opened the field trip with DSC_0059“Elevator Pitch.”  What if we only had 30 seconds to introduce ourselves to someone in the elevator, until the elevator reaches at its top floor?  Yes, we don’t have time for details, but for something significant, appealing, and simple!  The girls learned how to present themselves in such conditions by creating a 30-second or 60-second introduction all about themselves.

Then, with Elevator Pitch and interview skills learned through the week, the girls got to meet female professionals!  Amazing Race.  Women@Moto had set up 9 stations that represent 9 departments, such as Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain, Consumer Design, Software, Social Media and several others!  Our DSC_0064mission was to find what department the women we meet work in only by interviewing. The girls got to not just interview them, but to know what kind of jobs Motorola does.  The girls were hesitant little bit in the beginning, but they were very much engaged that they all lost track of time.  A hour later, when it was a lunch time, they were still talking with the professionals!  Wow!  No one forced them to stay or keep working at a station, but the girls so loved this Amazing Race experience!

DSC_0028In the afternoon, we continued on storytelling, how to pitch the product.  The girls were well-prepared for the next day for sure!

During the Amazing Race, the girls had an opportunity to create their own Facebook post, with Barbara, the Director of Social Media at Motorola, about their experience and what they enjoyed about the field trip and activities.  Here are some of their amazing reflections they made:

“The career I’m interested in after I met women at Amazing Race is software engineer because they can control the app like game and change the waythey would like to, change what the app says and its color.” –Jazlyn C.

“Learning to share personal story, I am not scared to talk to other people anymore.” –Marisol

“The most interesting role at Motorola is Supply Chain department, because the activity was fun and easy to understand for me.”  –Julie

“The women I met are just amazing.  A lot of people say women are for housework, but they just proved them wrong.”  –Kiana

“I love this place because it looks interesting and fancy.  There are so many incredible women that help us out.  They help me with my learning about technology and phones.”  –Jeanette

Thank you to the lovely Women@Moto group for making this day amazing for the girls!


Mr. MotoRobo Visited! – Spring Break Exploration Day 3 Recap

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Ms. Bori Kim

IMG_1591We are almost there!  It is already Day 3.  The girls got more than excited ever for what was waiting for them.  Shark Tank with Motorola Executives!  To have them well-prepared, Ms. Eve and her teammates from Motorola Mobility Foundation, Ms. Ann, and Ms. Kelly with Ms. Andrelina opened the morning with Pre-Product Fair.  Since the girls just started designing their prototypes on Day 2, it was a wonderful opportunity for them to share their original ideas and to get feedback from the peers and the professionals.

All groups had their sketches ready to share with one another.  One or two from each group would stay at their tables to present.  The other two would walk around and comment on others’ ideas.  Again, it was a time to bring up their amazing interview skills.

IMG_1496Those who were walking around were very interested in looking at different ideas and solutions other groups had.  We also had the fabulous professionals from Motorola who helped each group to consider some other features that could be added.  This was a truly team work!

Since the girls were so into the fair, it was very hard to come back together as a whole group.  We, however, had to move on.  Our next activity was, “What is trade-off?”  Ms. Kelly and Ms. Ann showed up an image of Mr. MotoRobo that looks very expensive.  “What do you think trade-off is?” asked Ms. Kelly.  For a few seconds, they were all quiet.  The girls were hesitant to respond.  Kiara raised her IMG_1651hand, taking a risk that she might not get it right, but gave her best shot. “Is it like we exchange things with others?”  “Yes, that’s close. Could anyone add on Kiara’s?” asked Ms. Kelly.  Again, everyone was so quiet.  “Let’s make this easier. Each group has a budget sheet and scenario.  Let’s start from here,” continued Ms. Kelly pointing Julie’s group.

Julie’s group started reading the scenario: My boss says, “The budget is limited.  The materials you have on this robot are quite expensive.”  From the description of each scenario, the groups were tasked with checking their options, either monetary, budgetary, or supply-related, and deciding what their trade-off was going to be, based on the perimeters given by the boss.

IMG_1489Following each scenario, we finally had Mr. MotoRobo that our boss wants.  Perfect Mr. MotoRobo is here by trading-off!  Such a fun, meaningful way to learn what “trade-off” is!  The girls got so excited to see our complete robot.  They couldn’t resist taking photos with it.  So we did it.  Photo of a Day!

Keeping our girls engaged, Ms. Andrelina introduced three key concepts with Jeopardy.  Yes, Jeopardy!  The girls were so ready to go for it.  Each group was allowed to have a Hint & Question sheet to help them understand these difficult concepts: User-Research, Testing, Trade-off.  The girls were so enthusiastic in learning.  Plus with all the incentives that were coming in their way.

During the afternoon, Ms. Andrelina so kindly decided to stay and helped the girls with beginning to develop their prototype presentations.  Each group stood in front of the class IMG_1675and discussed their product, including the specifics, where their group names originated from, as well as why their product was unique.  Ms. Andrelina, using her expansive knowledge and expertise, gave the girls some amazing feedback, based on their presentation skills, and helped them to clarify some specifics related to their prototypes.  This was such a great way for the girls to start getting ready for presentations! Friday is coming up fast!

We had so much fun, learning today!  Though the concepts were very difficult to understand, Motorola team made them so much easier, meaningful for the girls.  The girls finally became experts in User-Research, Testing, and Trade-off.

Special Thanks to Ms. Eve, Ms. Ann, Ms. Kelly, and Ms. Andrelina.

Solving Problems and Taking Names – Spring Exploration Day 2 Recap

Day Two – written by STEM Facilitator, Magaly Perez

Day Two - 3Day Two of Innovation Launchpad was off to a great start! Our wonderful guest speaker for the day was Ms. Patricia, a Visual Designer for Motorola. The day began with an icebreaker led by Ms. Patricia, in which the girls were able to interview each other about their favorite game or toy and find out what made it a good product.

Before starting the day’s lesson on “Product Ideation”, each group had an opportunity Day Two - 6to create a problem statement describing the problem they planned on solving. It took some time for each team to decide on a single problem but once it was chosen, the girls were certainly excited to get started! The resulting problem statements were:

  • How might we solve for no texting while driving?
  • How might we solve for low battery?
  • How might we solve for rejecting calls and messages?
  • How might we create a case that lets us communicate our style?
  • How might we create a phone for blind people?

Day Two - 2The next step involved figuring out how to solve their problem! In preparation for this next step, Ms. Patricia introduced ideation, along with a few brainstorming rules. The following hour consisted of brainstorming solutions to their problems by writing each potential solution on a post-it note. From the amount of post-it notes seen around the room, it was clear to see that the girls were full of ideas! By the end of the hour, each group had to decide on the best way to solve their problem. After receiving feedback, the girls continued on to assign tasks within their groups and brainstorm on how to build their prototypes! Before receiving their prototype kits (which they were extremely excited about!), Ms. Patricia held a Show-and-Tell with actual prototypes from Motorola, which definitely stirred up more ideas and resulted in the first sketches for prototypes!Day Two - 9

After lunch, each group finally received the highly anticipated prototype kits! Each kit came with a wide variety of materials including Legos and a 3D pen! The girls dove right into the materials and there was no stopping them for the following hour and half. However, the girls did take a break from their intense prototyping for our daily journaling time and a TrueChild lesson to wrap up a very productive day!

Day Two - 4We cannot wait to see what the girls’ prototypes will look like!

Spring Exploration is Here! Day One Recap :)

Day One – written by STEM Facilitator, Bori Kim

IMG_1463The 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 IMG_1442team 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 IMG_1434handing 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 IMG_1411product 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”

and “Service.”

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 IMG_1418product, 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!