About my end of year blue sky exhibition
Hey guys! My name is Simon and welcome to my blog post. Today I will be talking about my blue sky end-of-year project. I’ll also explain what a blue sky project is, the competencies we were accessed on, and the different steps of this project, or as we like to call them, milestones. I’ll also be explaining what I did in this project, the struggles of doing this during a pandemic, as well as the driving questions. Let’s get into it.
What is a blue sky project
A blue sky project is a project where you find yourself a question and answer it through the creation of a product. This could be a tangible product, a virtual one, a piece of art, a feat of engineering or even an event. The question you need to answer is a “How Might We” question. A “How Might We” question could be a sense of wonder at a process, the awareness of a problem or a sense of empathy towards a group. My “How Might We” was “How Might We design a website to teach people how to cook using foodbank supplies?” I think it stemmed from a sense of empathy. The reason I chose this is because food banks have extremely healthy and well balanced out foods, so I can use those great, cheap ingredients and teach people how to cook with them.
Driving question & conclusion
The driving question was: using one of the UN sustainable development goals as a guide, how would you solve a problem facing our community/ province/world. By learning what is at the core of this goal, understanding what it entails and creating a functional solution through trial and error.
You can also run it by people in your family or friends, to see how it works in their eyes. Constant feedback which you can get from parents or teachers is the only way, in my opinion to have a truly functional product.
During my milestone I needed to make sure that I looked carefully. This was one of the necessary steps in our brainstorming process. We needed to brainstorm several ideas and what goals we found interesting, then we needed to complete three challenges or steps if you will. Challenge number one was choosing a specific issue which entails looking at the UN’s sustainability goals for 2030, and choosing one. The goal I chose was zero hunger. I chose this one, because growing up, I witnessed this to a medium degree. I live in the city of North Vancouver, but we would often drive through North Vancouver into Vancouver. In Vancouver there is the downtown Eastside. This area is very well known for poverty and for hunger. Obviously, this is not as bad as when we see pictures of children in Third World countries who do not have access to food or water safely or regularly. Still, this is why I chose this goal. Our next goal was to choose a specific group. I already pictured my project as I normally do. So the group that I targeted it to we are families who used foodbanks. Specifically families with a certain level of cooking ability and products such as frying pans and stoves yet they still use the food banks. This is very common, especially when there are big cutbacks in jobs, especially low paying jobs. Our third challenge was choosing a specific product. This could be a tangible product, a work of art, a feat of engineering or even a website. I made a website teaching people how to cook healthy food using the healthy ingredients that food banks provide. After this, the next goal is reframing our insights. This is it entailed in the how might we question that I talked about earlier. If you need any refreshments on that please check it out again. Our next steps are to listen and learn. This, entailed some quick and dirty preliminary research. Throughout our entire project we had to do research. Her teacher didn’t have to receive updates all the time from what research we did we are held accountable for our own work. Mostly we have to talk about what we don’t know and find out how to learn about that.
during our milestone 2, we started our personal need to knows. Need to knows are questions that we obviously must know to be able to complete our product. A lot of my need to knows involves nutrition as well as to what extent people had cookware amongst other things. I’ve learned a lot during this project, but there’s also been a lot of areas in which I didn’t have as much success. This is what we call a fail. A first attempt in learning. At the end of my project I created a list of fails, but not in a negative way. It shows how much room I have to improve. Last blue sky exhibition, I also did this. Since then, I feel like I’ve had less fails and more successes. Part two was creating an action plan. This was drafting out our schedule for when we want to get our work done during the project. We had a deadline of June 18, which was when the exhibitions started. Since my project revolved around recipes, I chose to organize it in such a way that I needed certain numbers of recipes written down by certain dates. I also did the same with my research. Part three was starting our research. This was a continuation our milestone is 1’s quick and dirty research. A lot of my research didn’t only include stuff about nutrition and how to have a well-balanced diet, but what websites to trust when it came to recipes. Part for it was what I would describe as a follow up brainstorm. We already made a brainstorm during milestone one and this was to simplify our ideas and organize them with our need to knows. Part five was to simplify and organize our ideas.
During this section of our project, we had to choose what was the best way for us to present our project. We organize this and what we call a parts form. In this form we went over who we were targeting this too, and many other things. This was one of our shorter milestones because it didn’t have as many steps. Our end goal for this section of the project was to learn what is the best way to present our solution?
Our task during this final section of our project, was to publicly share a work with a small group of people who have completed a product in the same goal area. We also had to create a presentation over the span of four days, when we worked in small groups of mixed grades with other students of our specialized program. This was a big challenge, but I feel like it was good for showing how we can work together during the pandemic.
The struggles of working during a pandemic
Now, I do think I’m breaking the news to anyone when I say that we’re in the middle of a full blown pandemic. Spanning the globe, coronavirus is taking many lives and if it has touched you or a family member/friend, I am deeply sorry. I found it extremely stressful to work under the circumstances, because we didn’t have as much interaction with our teachers. I am in a specialized program at school, which is all about project-based learning. We are also extremely dependent on regular feedback from our teachers. During the last blue sky project in the winter, we had almost daily interactions with her teachers for getting feedback and I feel that since we didn’t have any real opportunity just like that during this pandemic, it has put us under a lot more stress. My last two projects for certain classes have been revolving around the pandemic. This project was included since it had to talk about the pandemic. This is had a genuine impact on my mental health and I had to ask my teacher to not have to include the pandemic in my presentation or project. Thankfully my teacher agreed and I was able to work more peacefully. I think this is a great first trial to show hoe we can work during a pandemic.