Hello again! I know it’s been a while, but we took a break from writing blogs over winter break. But now I’m back!!! In this blog post I will be talking about our “mini Blue Sky” project, and also the winter exhibition. The winter exhibition is when we do a big project and then show off our learning to all the parents and just people who want to come. This time the theme was Star Wars and we transformed the library into the Death Star! Now to the project.
For the mini Blue Sky project, our theme was Star Wars. To do this project we had to follow the LAUNCH cycle. The driving question was “How can we build an answer to our own inquiry?”
The first step in our project was to Look, Listen and Learn. I think I did a pretty good job for this stage. I became totally absorbed with finding out all the things vaguely related to Star Wars I was interested in. Farther down, there is a video of my LAUNCH journal where you can see my brainstorming. Some of the things I was interested in were : animals, planets, cloning, music, bounty hunters and more. Later on I will decide to go with animals, but we’re not there yet.
The second step was to Ask Tons of Questions. I had some trouble at this stage and ended up going back to L. We had to come up with a “how might we” question. A HMW question is a question that a) starts with how might we? And b) is open ended, so you have to do a lot of thinking to come up with and answer, and two peoples answers wouldn’t be the same. I just couldn’t get the right question for the topic (music) that I had chosen. I decided to go back to L and brainstorm some more.
The third step was U, understand a problem. It was here where I finally got my HMW question: How might we see what role do animals that don’t interact with the main characters have in the movies. I did a lot of research on the animals in Star Wars and really expanded my knowledge. I noticed a general theme, the animals were only there to help the main characters continue there story, they didn’t have a story of their own, so I decided to make one.
Now onto N, navigate ideas! Once I got my HMW question, I had to narrow down my ideas to see what I should actually create! I did some more brainstorming and arrived at the idea to do a puppet show. (It took a lot of brainstorming, and I had to sort though A LOT of ideas)
Then to C, create! I had lots of fun at this stage. It took a while but I was able to make a puppet, background, and script! Here are examples of each:
And next, H, highlight and fix. For H I basically found problems in my design, and fixed them to be more useful. Some of the problems I had was that my puppet’s eye kept falling off, it was hard to open and close the mouth, and my script was way tooo long. And this is just the beginning!!! I finally thought I had made it the best I could, and then I would find another problem! By the day of the exhibition, I was exhausted but happy.
Finally, LAUNCH to an audience! I was done! All that was left to do was share it with the world!
Here is my LAUNCH journal, where you can see in even more detail the steps it took to arrive at my beautiful finished product!
Reflection: in the end, I am very proud of the work I did. I think it really showed how much work and thought I put into it. There are some core competencies to consider however, so I will write down those as well.
1. “Engage in a period of research and empathetic observation in order to understand design opportunities”
I’m kind of proud of how I did this competency. During this stage, I went a little crazy. If anything remotely related to Star Wars popped up somewhere I would read/watch/listen to it. I found out so many things related to Star Wars, and I became fascinated with all the many different aspects of it.
2. “Identify potential users and their requirements for a chosen a design opportunity. “Identify criteria for success and any constraints”
I think that at this part of the project I kind of struggled a little bit. I had some trouble asking questions that were related to my topic. Another one of my weaknesses is not coming up with questions, but whenever I try to voice them. I try to ask a simple question but it just doesn’t sound the way I want it to, and people don’t understand what I’m asking.
3. “Identify and use sources of information.” “Critically analyze and
prioritize competing factors, including social, ethical, and sustainability considerations, to meet community needs for preferred futures.” “Choose an idea to pursue, keeping other potentially viable ideas open.”
I think that this was my best faze of the project, as I am generally pretty good at doing research. When I started thinking of what I was going to build, I started with an idea, but I wasn’t necessarily changing it. My idea started as a movie, but I realized that with the resources at hand, it wasn’t very possible. Instead I decided to do a live presentation/puppet show. I used the information I had gotten from my movie and tweaked it a bit to serve my puppet show. I used socks from my closet, and an old Easter egg to build my puppet.
4. “Generate potential ideas and add to others’ ideas.” “ Screen ideas against criteria and constraints.” “ Develop a step-by-step plan that identifies key stages and resources and carry it out, making changes as needed.” “Identify and use appropriate tools, technologies, and materials for production.”
For this stage I’m very impressed with my action plan. I like that it’s very organized and I actually followed it. By now I have actually started collecting materials for it, and they are from things I already had. I used lots of things and people to help me in this part. I occasionally asked my moms if they thought it looked good, and they were happy to offer advice.
5. “Explore and test a variety of materials for effective use and potential for reuse, recycling, and biodegradability.” “Prototype making changes to tools, materials, and procedures as needed.” “Record iterations of prototyping.” “Use materials in ways that minimize waste.”
I used all reused materials for this project. This included: socks, an Easter egg, paint I already had, a recycled cardboard box and old newspapers. I made a lot of mistakes but did not give up and added and improved my product.
6. “Share progress while creating design to enable ongoing feedback. Decide on how and with whom to share or promote design.” “Critically evaluate the success of the design and explain how their design idea contributes to the individual, family, community, and/or environment.”
I really liked presenting my project. I was very proud of what I made. I have to say though, a lot of my first designs kind of didn’t work (a lot). An example is when I tried to attach and Easter egg to a fabric sock with duct tape! Duck tape. Wow, that really didn’t work. We also made a keynote that showed all our steps along the way while presenting.
7. Innovative Designer.
I think I used a lot of different types of technology to make my puppet show. I tried new and creative things and even if it didn’t work out, I’m still proud of what did.
8. Computational Thinker
I had a lot of problems with my project. Especially at the start when my HMW question didn’t go as planned. Whenever I wanted to give up, I would try to take a break and think about what was working. This usually cheered me up and I could get back to what wasn’t working.
9. Creative Communicator
I used lots of different tools to create my project. Some of my favorites were that I used and egg, and I tried to make a poster that described my project. I tried to talk to people and get their opinions on things. When presenting, instead of just talking I put on a puppet show!
Phew! We’re finally at the end of this blog post! The winter exhibition was fun and so was this project. There is one more project we did for the exhibition in scimatics, click here to check it out!