Innovation Academy 2017

We’re getting ready for another exciting summer of Innovation Academy!

Schools, we will be reaching out to you soon (no later than March 17) with information about nominations for students.

Students and families, talk to your teacher if you’re interested in coming this year and want their nomination! Each school can only send us 10 students to start, so if you want to be one of those 10, talk to your teacher or administrator soon!

This summer will be another amazing dive into design thinking, and for 2 weeks, students will engage with IBM’s Smarter Planet themes in order to identify problems and develop potential solutions for our community. This will be Innovation Academy’s 7th summer of operation, and we are looking forward to supporting students from across St Vrain in their design challenges.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, at any time. This year, the co-directors for the program are Becky Peters (peters_rebecca@svvsd.org) and Kristen Brohm (brohm_kristen@svvsd.org).

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2017/03/13/innovation-academy-2017/

Energy Update – Monday June 20

This week students will be creating their own energy design challenge projects. This morning they kicked off  this project by taking  time to empathize with the challenges facing today’s energy consumers. For example, we discussed issues related to both nonrenewable and renewable energy sources. Next, children spent time determining a specific energy related dilemma that they would like to personally focus on this week with a small group of peers. Finally, they brainstormed together possible solutions and started to make a prototype related to a commonly agreed upon solution.

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/20/energy-update-monday-june-20/

Communications Update – Monday June 20

Our first day at Skyline was full of creativity and brainstorming. We began the day by innovating unique thank you notes for the IBM employees and volunteer students that worked with us last week. We produced everything from secret code messages to origami to a message in a bottle. Next, we began to discuss our final design challenge: designing the ideal 21st Century communication device. We worked through the empathy and define phases using the setting/character/problem chart and shared our ideas as a class. Then we watched a few helpful videos on effective brainstorming and got into our teams for a productive brainstorming session to end the day.

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/20/communications-update-monday-june-20/

Media Update – Monday June 20

On Monday, Media split into two classrooms to begin work on the design challenge of their choice.  Students chose their groups and narrowed down a problem they wanted to work on solving.  Some groups chose to work on mobile devices for people with specific obstacles and others are trying to create social media websites for elementary-aged children.

Tomorrow morning, students will present what they were able to prototypeMonday in hopes of getting feedback to make their prototype even better.  We are excited to see what new ideas they come up with to solve some pretty difficult problems in our world.

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/20/media-update-monday-june-20/

Energy Update – IBM Friday June 17

Innovation campers created prototypes in response to the defining question, “How might we harness our own energy in an extreme environment?” Children’s prototypes ranged from creating lightning rods that could harness the electricity generated by lightning to creating windmills that could utilize the extreme winds caused by hurricanes and tornadoes.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/17/energy-update-ibm-friday-june-17/

Innovation Academy in the News!

We had a great feature (including a short video) in the Times Call yesterday! Take a look!

 

http://www.timescall.com/ci_30025257/st-vrain-valley-students-build-prototypes-solve-world

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/17/innovation-academy-in-the-news/

Energy Update – IBM Session 2

Wednesday June 15th:

 

This morning we had Dara Ward, our Energy & Sustainability Manager for the St. Vrain Valley School District, give a special presentation to our young innovators on the importance of monitoring and conserving energy at our schools. Students were especially interested in our district’s Green website which allows viewers to monitor energy usage at specific schools in real time. Next, students worked on their prototypes related to the defining problem of how we can better monitor and conserve energy. Finally, we had a special hands-on workshop with a high school Robotics team that allowed children to interact with various types of robotic devices.

Thursday June 16th: 

This morning we had Brody Wilson, an IBM employee, give a special presentation to our young innovators on the importance of monitoring and conserving energy at IBM. Next, students finished their prototypes related to the defining problem of how we can better monitor and conserve energy, and they received feedback about their prototypes after testing them with users. This feedback prompted many groups to make changes to their prototypes. Finally, our class shared their final prototypes with their peers and reflected on the design thinking process.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/17/energy-update-ibm-session-2/

Communications Update – IBM Session 2

Wednesday June 15th: 

Today in Communications we worked on the Design Challenge: Design a way to communicate with people needing help during a disaster or emergency. We went through the entire design process and the prototypes these kids produced were amazing! They came up with incredibly creative innovations to solve many communication problems in a variety of emergencies and disasters including: hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, robbery, and kidnapping. They created a name for their products and many of them performed commercials to promote them during the feedback phase! The collaboration and problem solving were absolutely outstanding. What a great group of thinkers!
Thursday June 16th: 
In Communications today we started with ROBOTICS! We got to see a presentation on the Nao robots first. Then we rotated through four stations and had the opportunity to experience many fun and engaging learning activities involving robotics. We interacted with a Nao robot telling it how to dance and played Rock, Paper, Scissors with it! We also drove around Dash rolling robots with iPads, interacted with a coding program called Scratch, and programmed robotic bees to travel around a map grid.
After Robotics we began out Design Challenge: Design a way to help people with limited access to technology to communicate better. We got to the prototyping phase and will finish our amazing innovations tomorrow!

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/17/communications-update-ibm-session-2/

Media Update – IBM Week Session 2

Wednesday June 15th: 

On Wednesday, the Media group shifted our focus to social media. They had homework the night before to interview their parents about their social media use.  We found that 100% of interviewed parents used some sort of social media and had a lot of feedback to help students build some empathy for social media websites.

After discussing the parents’ view, students had to think about features that would be useful for elementary-aged students.  Kids had to narrow down all the problems and define a specific problem they wanted to solve.  While a lot of students thought games were important, we saw students who made social media sites for education, communicating, privacy, security, and positivity.

Kids then worked through the ideate stage by quickly drawing their ideas on iPhone storyboards.

We finished today with students having about an hour to create a prototype of their social media website.  Many created detailed diagrams that explained how they overcame their problem.

Tomorrow, kids will present their ideas and then turn their attention to advertising.

Thursday June 16th:
On Thursday we picked up right where we left off and kids presented their new design for a social media app.  They had to keep in mind parent concerns about social media and many of them tried to create new security systems to keep younger student safe and away from inappropriate content.  The presentations definitely improved from their first presentationon Tuesday and some of the students even got the chance to explain their social media websites to a local group called “Colorado Succeeds.”

Following presentations, we had a different kind of presentation from to IBM employees about how IBM consolidates data from social media websites to help its clients.  They talked about Watson, the super computer that can read millions of documents in just seconds.
The second half of class, got students back to innovating as they tried to create advertisements for one of the products they already created.  Today they worked on a print advertisement that hi-lighted their products special features.  Tomorrow they will take what they learned today and try to put it into a commercial.
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Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/17/media-update-ibm-week-session-2/

Cities Update – IBM Week Session 2

Wednesday June 15th: 

Wednesday morning was full of energy and experimentation in the Cities classroom.  Students started off with Robotics stations where they were introduced to different types of robots and were able to try them out.  Then they got back to prototyping for their 2nd design challenge of the week – Design and build a new and improved school playground that can be enjoyed and used by students of all ages.  It was great to see the kids problem solve and work together to build models of their ideas.  Time was also made for students to give and receive feedback from other groups to help improve their designs. The students left excited to finish up their prototypes Thursday morning.

Thursday June 16th: 

Today we jumped back into prototyping for the playground designs.  After one last round of feedback each group made final tweaks before presenting their designs to rest of the class. It was so fun to see how each playground came together and how each group included features for both older and younger elementary aged students.  After Prototype Share-Out we had Ray Johnson from IBM come in and talk about Smarter Cities and how IBM partnered with Denver to help reduce homelessness.  Then we started our next design challenge – Design a way to survive during and after a natural disaster.  Student groups decided on a type of natural disaster that they wanted to learn more about and design for tomorrow.

Quotes:
What I liked aout designing for a user other than my own was taking data from other people in the past. – Nate
I like designing for the younger kids because it made me remember when I was little and what I liked to do.  It was also a fun challenge. – Ellison
I liked designing the foam pit and the bounce castle because it is good for all ages. – Hannah

Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.svvsd.org/innovationacademy/2016/06/17/cities-update-ibm-week-session-2/

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