Friday, January 13, 2017

Empathy Exercises Created by Students for Students

In our Design and Fabrication class, students from City 2.0 became the teachers. City students wanted to create authentic hands-on experiences for other students that would foster empathy. Working with an SHS student who has rheumatoid arthritis, they created several empathy experiences that would simulate some of the symptoms of the disease. There were three different stations for students, who put on devices that limited their movement and then performed everyday tasks like picking something up off the floor of the room. Students then had the opportunity to interview the student with arthritis to ask more specific questions about her experiences. They brainstormed potential solutions to some of the problems she faces in her everyday life.

Watch some of the videos on You Tube:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Engineering and Arduinos

Intro to Engineering has been exploring Arduinos and learning about electrical engineering through this process. Students are programming the microcontrollers so they can eventually build digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control objects in the physical world. Along the way, they are learning about circuits and electricity.

Life Hacks-Design and Fabrication

This week in Design and Fabrication, students showcased their Life Hack creations. Students interviewed their partners and discovered the "annoying problems" in each others' lives and chose one to solve. They worked through the Design Thinking process, creating problem statements, rough prototypes, testing them and then producing their final object. The products they created ranged from cell phone cases to paper and work area organizers. Some products required 3D modelling and printing, while others involved laser cutting and hand woodworking tools. You can see some of  the products in the photos below.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

SHS students visit Princeton University's Tiger Challenge

Last Saturday, eleven students from Design and Fabrication, City 2.0 and Psychology traveled to Princeton University to work with undergraduates participating in the Tiger Challenge. Princeton students are using the design process to work through real world problems and find solutions. For three hours, students worked together to craft interview guides and questions and then interview one another. The two challenges that Princeton students are tackling this year are stress in K-12 schools and the shortage of qualified teachers. As the Princeton program was at the beginning of the design process, they interviewed our students about stress in their lives as well as their attitude towards the teaching profession. Our students also got to practice their interviewing skills, as college students remembered back to their high school days. Scarsdale students were excited about the immersive experience, saying that they learned about asking questions, going deeper, and pulling out insights. All good designs begin with interesting problems. And without thoroughly understanding the people behind the problems, it is difficult to find valid solutions. Our students enjoyed their deep dive into empathy interviews and we are hoping to offer this opportunity to more SHS students in the coming months.are excited to use these design skills in the problems they are tackling in their classes here.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Scarsdale STEAM Day and the Giant Chain Reaction

Before the students arrived.
Yesterday, at Scarsdale Middle School, Design Lab teachers assisted by sophomore Kylie McRobie, worked with Middle and Elementary Students to create a giant chain reaction. For three hours, students (and parents) worked to build sections of the chain reaction and then link the sections together. At 2 PM, the crowd gathered to watch the golf ball drop and set off the contraption. See the video of it here
Sophomore Kylie McRobie works on connecting the sections
D Lab teacher Brian McDonald counts down to launch.

Students Solving Problems in Their Own World

In the past few weeks, Design and Fabrication students have been working in teams identifying problems they can solve for one another. Diving deep into empathy, they have been learning to find the underlying stories behind their needs. Teams are looking for the deeper needs, so they can create solutions for problems that are thoughtful and empathic. 

In Introduction to Engineering,  students are learning the fundamentals of 3-D modeling using a program called Fusion 360.

Fusion 360 is a professional program that allows students to transform their ideas into virtual creations. After crafting a design, students can 3D print their creations and turn their digital models into fully functional prototypes!
Students are currently working on tutorials that lead them through different tools and features of the program. Starting by creating a LEGO brick, they follow and problem solve through a step-by-step guide in an effort to master the basic tools of the program.
In the upcoming weeks students will be moving into our 3D Modeling challenge. Students will begin by choosing a problem they want to solve from a list of challenges or create their own problem to solve. They will then put their skills to the test by designing and creating their own tool or product that solves their problem. Students will have the option to even 3D print their designs and take them home

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Prototyping in Design and Fabrication

This week, students in Introduction to Design and Fabrication created quick, rough prototypes of liquid containers for their specific user. Using craft supplies like duct tape, paper cups, straws and hot glue, students constructed prototypes to use as they pitched their ideas to the class. Students were engaged in the activity, as they "built to learn," one of the basic principles of Design Thinking. By constructing an object, they make their ideas real and learn what works and what doesn't. They also then have an object for others to respond to as they talk about how it solves their user's needs. See the photos below for the process of prototyping and some of the quick, rough prototypes. And click these link link link links  to see videos of the build!