Thursday, 21 November 2013

Train the Trainers Day 2

On the second day, the groups completed their prototypes and presented it in the form of a role play. The other groups gave feedback on the ideas presented. It was a fruitful experience.

The final design challenge was the wallet challenge, where the participants were tasked to design something based on what they found from the wallet of their user. The teachers interviewed each other on the contents of their wallets. Surprisingly, their wallets gave a lot of insights. They then used recycled materials to design a product based on the insights collected from the interviews.

Here are some examples of prototypes from the participants:

1. Needs Statement: practical-minded XXX needs a way to organise her things in an efficient manner because she wants to have a sense of security in knowing where her things are.

Prototype: This is a multi purpose card for XXX. It has Nets, EzLink and membership functions for stores (such as watson's etc) that can be customized by XXX so that she does not need to carry multiple cards around and worry about finding the correct card. This all-in-one card has a face recognition system for security and a LCD screen that displays her expenditure and membership info!

2. Needs Statement:"Family-oriented XXX needs a way to minimise extra-work because he likes to spend time with his family."
Prototype: For Family-Man 'man, the 'invention' created is an app which can help him group similar tasks together for convenience's sake such that he can save time for family activities which are more important to him.As someone who values relationship, the app also has a function where he can invite closer friends to access his published schedule so that they can offer to help him with some of the tasks. This is seen from the 'Feeds' section where friends will send him a message through the app to tell him which task they can help with and XXX can strike it off his schedule, thus freeing his time up for his family.

3. Wallet Watcher
Prototype: Easy reminder app on phone (alarm system)
1. Download the app
2. Place the card on the hp screen.
3.Retail store and the expiry date on the card will be scanned and captured.
4. App will trigger alarm 1 week (may be adjusted) before expiry date and on the day itself.
5. Discard your unwanted cards. No more bulky wallet!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Train the Trainers Day 1: Developing Teachers' Capacity in Design Thinking

On 20 and 21 Nov, a group of 14 teachers attended a 2-day workshop on Design Thinking. The objective of the workshop is to build a core group of teachers who can lead in facilitating design thinking and help develop this area in the school. Ong & Ong, a design firm gave a workshop on design thinking and also shared their experiences in using Design Thinking in their work. The design challenge was to re-design the learning experiences of the students in order to meet the needs of the 21st century economy. Brainstorming was intense as the teachers were very open and generated many interesting ideas.

Many thanks to the trainers Joshua, Mark and Ken who really inspired the teachers!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Greening for a Cause- CWSS in the news!

Last year, a group of Commonwealth students volunteered at the St Andrew's Cathedral Home for the Aged. They empathized with the elderly's need for a meaningful social activity and came up with an unique solution- to build a garden with the elderly. Subsequently, these students clinched one of the top prizes at the Design for Change competition 2012 and were selected to represent Singapore in the Global "Be the Change" Conference in Ahmedabad, India this September. We are pleased to know that their story was reported by journalists from Today. 
Here is the full article:

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Follow Up

During the months following the M.A.D. EXPO, Sec 2-1 returned to their routine school life. However, their sense of commitment towards FDS was not lost. After the End-Of-Year exams, 4 groups decided to return to their M.A.D. projects and improve on their work, with the hope of turning their initial prototypes into more polished products. The teams and their respective projects were:

  • Surabhi's group (Creating a Social Media Guide for FDS members)
  • Natchanon's group (Re-designing a Sales Desk for Mr Palang)
  • Alvin's group (Developing a Communication App for Ms Pricilla)
  • Megan's Group (Creating a Publicity video for FDS). 

Over the post-exam period and the early part of the November school holidays, these 4 groups worked closely with expert mentors from our school who guided the students on the technical skills required to enhance their prototyped ideas. For instance, Natchanon's group worked under the guidance of the D&T teachers to improve on the construction of their sales desk idea while Megan's group worked with the New Media Club to produce a publicity video for FDS. The team learnt new skills of film making, voice recording and video editing along the way.

Alvin's group learnt the skills for Android app development from the school's Technical Executive, Mr Chua. The group mastered the basic skills of a programming software and was extremely engrossed in their work!

Overall, from this experience, the groups learnt that the development of real products, anything from tables to applications,  is tedious and technically challenging. They truly demonstrated the values of adventurousness and tenacity in venturing into new areas far beyond the scope of their textbooks and carrying their project all the way to the end, even sacrificing several days of their November school holidays to complete their work. 

As an enrichment, the teams were brought to the school's refurnished Design Studio and were introduced to the new 3D printers. Students were truly amazed by the capabilities of technology! Their eyes were glued to the small window of the 3D printer machine as they watched the machine hum away. 

We hope that this has been a fulfilling learning experience for our students. None of this would have been possible without support from the school leaders and the help of colleagues from various departments. 
Thank you all so much!