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KidStarter Labs

An after school program that provides kids with a place for creativity, some basic materials and tools and a coach who has been trained on cultivating ideas. Kids self direct and can ask for additional materials on a kickstarter like site.

Photo of DeletedUser

Written by DeletedUser

Imagine an after school program where kids are given the space and materials to create what their imagination desires. 

A coach is present to keep things safe, provide encouragement and teach the creative process.

Kids can work independently or in groups and the projects can take on any shape from making artistic paper airplanes to sending a camera to the stratosphere on a weather balloon.

For the more ambitious projects, kids would be able to pitch their ideas on a kickstarter like platform where people can choose to buy materials and tools for the student.     I think amazon's gift registry feature could be used to handle transactions.   Each classroom would have an amazon account and each project requiring additional resources would create a wish list.   The kidstarter platform would then just link to the amazon wish list.  

The kidstarter platform would also be a way for kids to learn about the cool stuff happening at other schools and potentially be inspired to do the same.

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

Kids would help define the core set of materials that would enable cool projects that they wouldn't be able to do easily on their own.

Parents would need to provide insight on their concerns and goals for their kids in this program and guide some financial constraints.

Teachers would need to provide guidance on how the program could be implemented at various grade levels.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

This program might start in a single school district but could be expanded to any community.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I think the most pressing need is to get the general structure and approach validated. I've added an image above showing my rough concept but there is a lot of detail missing and it isn't clear what is feasible with young kids.

If there is interest, I can also make some wireframes of the online platform. Just let me know in the comments.

I'm also ignorant of the COPA rules. My thought would be that parents would need to register their kids for the online community and be given a way to monitor what their kid is doing.... perhaps modeling after Club Penguin.


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Photo of Yann Hirlimann

Like Meena, I like the offline and online componets of your labs. However, it would be good to try an implement your labs in school rather than afterschool. the risk with afterschool is that you'll get only already creatively confident teens, when the objective is to get the non confident ones to join for them to gain that confidence. If you want to keep it as an afterschool, maybe it would be good to have a mentor within schools orienting the shy ones towards that activity. and a second question: how would it be financed? We want to make sure that kids with little resources can access the lab. I don not know how these afterschool activities are financed in the States, but I'm interested to know more.

Photo of DeletedUser


Thanks for the feedback! You raise good concerns that I need to think about. I'll update the concept soon to try and address your thoughts.

Photo of Paul Ecclestone-Brown

Why pitch at teens - wouldn't it be better to pitch at younger ages so that the creativity isn't lost through the pre teens? If this idea is in normal school time how d we get the cross curricular support of the idea so that already packed time tables can cope to satisfy the government meddlers who think that the only way to prove the value is to improve examination results

Photo of DeletedUser


HI Paul, thanks for the comment. I was thinking it could work for all school aged kids.

I don't think taking on the current public school program would be viable, so I was thinking after-care programs. But now that you mention the examination focus... I think it would be cool to track kids in the program and their subsequent scores on exams. Not as a driver of the program but rather as a way to see if a more engaging, self directed, and holistic work can result in better performing students.

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