Blue sky is class time you get to create something that solves a problem. PLP’s definition for it is “Students given time to create a project of there own. This project needs to be centred on a problem, answer a driving question, and contain a challenge. Other than that, it’s up to them!”
#1 Where do I start?
I wanted to create something that would impact my life but as well as the client. All problems I could fix are either from my mom, me, brother, kittens or dog. We cant do 13-64 so that took out mom, brother, and me. Because I love animals and have had many, I want to focus on pets. All problems I had for my dog like her slipping on the floor, jumping out of the car and hurting her knees, etc were all already solved, so I moved on to the next pet. Something I know A LOT about is kittens. Ive fostered over 60 kittens, and I know there isnt alot of inventions around them so thats what sparked the idea of my question I will talk a bit more later…
#2 Create Question.
So, what I decided from talking to my mom, and thinking hard is that the problem I want to focus on is based around kittens not having there mom. “How do I replace mother cats for kittens. We have gotten around 5 different batches of 6-5, 1-3 week old kittens. Half of them had there mom, and half didn’t. I have observed all of it, so this is the time I start using my knowledge from observing, seriously. Kittens, the younger they are, and the factor if they have a mother or not, the harder they are to deal with. Kittens with a mother, are easy to handle bet the mom keeps them warm, clean, feeds them, and comforts them. When there isn’t a mother, we have to do all of those things, the mom would.
#3 Brainstorm ways you can solve it.
As I created the question, I kind of new what I was going to do to solve it. I didn’t go through the insane process of brainstorming… or RE-evaluating ways I could solve my question. The basic idea was to create a bed that replaces the mom cat. Now, this is where I started actually thinking about how im going to make an idea into something real. I need the bed to have warmth, comfort and sound. I’m going to test out actually having milk in the bed, but I have a feeling it won’t work out…
#4 Prototype 1
I started this out as a drawing, in sketches. It has the milk, heat, audio of purring, and a comfy bed.
#5 Prototype 2.
Prototype 2 I made the drawing reality. I sewed a heater into the pillow part of the bed and attached some bottles to it. I had a Bluetooth speaker that played purring sounds just sitting beside the bed, so this bed was a good second Prototype but definitely not what I wanted the final product to look like. The milk component wasn’t really working out, so I remembered that for the 3rd prototype. I obviously tested it out on my kittens, and they liked it but I knew I could make something better.
#6 Prototype 3.
This is where stuff went down. I started fresh with a whole new bed and new ideas. I scratched the whole milk part of it off because it was unrealistic to have, and replaced it with 3 plastic cat nipples to basically act as a soother like a baby would use. The heater was sewn in the plush part of the bed, and had fluffy stuff on and below it to create comfort. I also sewed a little square for the speaker to fit in. You can place it facing up to have a clear purring sound or place it sideways to make it more muffeled and realistic. Oh wait, what happens if they have a accident in the bed? I got it figured out. I added buttons onto where the heater was so you can remove it and throw the bed into the wash. Overall I think the bed looks very professional and the cats love it.
When you hear posterboard you probably think of a messy floppy piece of paper with some paper with text on it glued messily to the poster. So do I, but I felt a posterboard was the best thing I could do to show everything I needed to. My goals for this posterboard was it to look professional, show all my Prototypes, aswell as the kittens. First step was to buy everything I needed. I went to Walmart and printed out 40 photos of my kittens, and Prototypes. Then I bought a trifle board, and headed home to create. Because posterboards are basic and boring, I spent a loooooooong time focusing on making it look good. It ended up better I thought it would be, and im very proud of it and the prototype.
#8 Launch to world.
June 15, the day of the exhibition. Me and my group set up pet store themed area. We all decorated our tables, had food, games, and most importantly the amazing things everyone made. I wasnt nervous at all, because I need my topic and product inside and out. I did 1-5 minute discriptions about my makeshift mother, depending how intrested the person was. I was proud to stand in front of my table and im really happy how everything turned out.