Spring Break Camp Innovation Launchpad

The first day of our Spring Break Innovation Launch Pad on April 18 in cooperation with Motorola Mobility at Funston Elementary School was a success! Lisa Whitelock, from Motorola Mobility introduced the idea of product innovation today, we had an opportunity to begin to define what a product is. For example, an IHOP breakfast is a product, but a baby is not. When asked if a speech is a product, Tania said “the speech itself is not a product, but it could be advertising a product. Ideas get turned into products.”

When Lisa was finished helping the girls define what a product is, Lexi Valasek, also from Motorola Mobility, taught the girls what makes a good product through the Human Central Design process. There are three parts to the Human Central Design process that we will be focusing on for the week. If a product is viable, makes money; feasible, can be made; and desirable, if people really want it. The girls were given more examples of products to determine if it would be successful. A Dirt-O-Bar, a dirt flavored candy bar, was determined to be a bad product, because “that’s just gross, it is feasible, but gross” said Mia, enthusiastically. Unfortunately a Time Machine was also a bad product, because “this product is not feasible, because the technology has not been invented yet! But everyone would want it!” said Melissa.

Today we focused on figuring out what problems we have with technology that can be solved. Lexi challenged the girls to ask each other why these problems were problems; Why is poor wifi connection a problem? Why is it a problem if you cannot understand a language someone is speaking? By reaching deeper into the problems they had with technology they were able to come up with some incredible ideas that will focus their product development and prototyping for the rest of the week.

One group would like to develop a product that will help the vision impaired get to where they need to go, without relying on a seeing eye dog. Another group will develop a product that will help people with diabetes stay healthier, “we were inspired by my grandma and her struggle with diabetes,” said Mia. We are so excited to see what amazing products we can develop over the next week to solve these and other very important issues in the world.

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