The BlueSky project is the final year end project for PLP. It is something that a lot of people look forward to as it allows you to stretch your creative legs.
It normally goes like this: you’re given a topic (this year it was “the UN sustainability goals”. I picked #11, Clean Water and Sanitation), then you’re given a problem (coronavirus), and then you have to create a product or idea that can help the problem and go with the topic. Then, once we have our products/ideas ready, we have an exhibition (or, in our case this year, a Zoom call).
I’ll be breaking this post into two sections —one will be about my idea and the other will be a reflection.
Originally, I had the idea to make a portable hand washing station out of regular household items.
Then, I realized this product had already been created and was widely available to the public. So, still sticking with the hand washing station idea, I decided to make a pitch to my school board about why these stations should be placed in our school for the sanitation of students and staff given coronavirus. I proceeded to do some research about these stations and put together a keynote presentation. I knew I had to think of the potential counter arguments in advance, and then find the information to combat and debunk them. And, after many hours of research and image finding, I had a keynote presentation that I was ready to show on our Zoom call.
Now, on to the reflection section.
This project started off with something that most PLP students are very familiar with, a LAUNCH journal. This journal contains six pages, Look, Listen and Learn, Ask a ton of questions, Understanding, Navigate ideas, Create, Highlight & Fix.
You can think of these pages as checkpoints. They serve the purpose of saving the work you’ve done at one point in the project so that you can look back on it later. You can save things like research, pictures, ideas, brainstorming, etc. However, I didn’t find that I had much to put into the pages this year. I found myself hammering out the small little details in my keynote presentation, as I genuinely thought I might have to give a legitimate pitch to the school board.
However, in the end, I just talked about my pitch in my team’s Zoom presentation. Speaking of which, the Zoom presentation was a very nice change of pace. Normally, we would be presenting to a couple of hundred people in one day, explaining our idea over and over again. This time, however, there were two big changes to the presentation. #1, we would only be explaining our idea once, considering everyone would be in the same room at the same time. #2 We wouldn’t be able to see anyone on the screen but ourselves! Now, I know that last one might not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it was. When I’m giving a presentation and I can’t see or hear anyone, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable and therefore I can give a cleaner and more concise speech.
In the end, I learned a couple of new skills and things about myself. For one, I learned that I feel a lot more comfortable when I don’t think about the people I am speaking to. And, I also learned how to create a professional looking keynote presentation that I can use for presentations in the future. I would have been completely comfortable going and doing a proper pitch with the presentation that I had created.