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The Electronster

The Electronster is a program that provides kids with recycled electronics to take apart, in order to harness and encourage creative problem solving and self-confidence.

Photo of Olivia Vagelos

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THE RUNNING UPDATE:
We have released a pdf, standalone Electronster Toolkit! The toolkit contains all the information you need to run the program in your classroom, after-school program or at home. 

In October we ran a "Train the Trainers" program with 25 YMCA facilitors and administrators.

Find out more about the training program and the future of the Electronster, and download the toolkit from our impacts page.
https://openideo.com/challenge/creative-confidence/impact/the-electronster-toolkit-and-facilitations


WHAT

The Electronster is a program that provides kids with recycled electronics to take apart, in order to harness and encourage creative problem solving and self-confidence.

THE VISION AND THE BIG INSIGHTS

Late elementary and middle school kids who don’t consider themselves “builders” need permission to break the social rules and deconstruct complex, multi-part objects because:
1. Doing so and having this permission gives them the confidence that if they have the right “tool” they can master other complex ideas and objects
2. Creativity emerges in deconstruction

By eliminating the pressure of the infinite possibilities of building, and instead leveraging a defined goal of “destruction,” kids naturally problem solve creatively, gain intense curiosity about the world around them, and subconsciously and consciously redefine themselves as having the toolset to tackle any problem.

THE JOURNEY OF THE ELECTRONSTER

The original idea for the Electronster was based off of SparkTruck, a mobile truck that teaches kids hands-on prototyping. Initially, the Electronster was going to be a mobile van with a program that included an introduction to design thinking and creative brainstorming, the destruction of recycled electronics and then a building phase in which the used components would be re-purposed to build an entirely new creation.

We tested and retested our prototypes (see below) in order to gain understanding of some key factors:

1. Which phases (of brainstorming, destruction and building) are critical to achieving our main goals of giving kids a “new toolset” and developing greater creative confidence?
2. How much knowledge of electronics must the children have for the exercise to be successful?
3. What is the best number of students, and age range, for this concept?
4. Can we engage with the critical issue of electronic waste at home and abroad, and and innovation using recycled materials going on in 3rd world countries?

Some of the biggest take-aways:

Building is not what is critical, it is the destruction that really unlocks something new.

There is a sense of mastery and accomplishment gained when the kids are able to take these complex machines apart, a mastery they otherwise see as unattainable unless you are an expert engineer.

The truck form factor limits the scalability of this project. Instead we are looking to integrate it into school classrooms, after school programs (like the YMCA we prototyped with) and with families at home (like one community organizer did).

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE ELECTRONSTER
Short term:
Working with the local YMCA branches and school districts to help more kids experience the Electronster.

Long term:
We would love to stretch the Electronster across cultures, engaging kids from the 1st world and 3rd world to think strategically about recycled materials and how to use them to solve critical problems in their own communities.

PROTOTYPE 1: (Ideas Phase)
20 seventh graders (boys and girls), 1 hour
Structure:

Exercises in creative brainstorming (post-it notes, quantity over quality of ideas, “yes and…” building on ideas, prompts like “All you have is a stapler and you are stuck in outer space, what do you do?”) (10 min)
Deconstruction (25 min)
Creation/building (10 min)
Reflection (write one thing you learned on a post-it and leave it on the wall) (2 min)

Insights:
-We found a plethora of usable recycled electronics at local recycling centers
-Kids were attracted by “Who wants to destroy electronics?” There is something inherently appealing about this concept.
-No hammers! Screwdrivers encourage more creative problem solving and less blunt-force banging
-They self formed small teams around the bigger electronics, strategizing when a tool or approach didn’t work
-The kids were eager to show each other what they found
-Boys and girls tended to operate differently - the girls were more likely to approach the dismantling methodically and flexibly - the boys did much more smashing
-Try and tailor the initial brainstorming more closely to the overall goals of discovery and building
-Give more time, guidance or help to the build phase. While fun, there wasn’t enough time to make elaborate, interactive, or complex creations.

PROTOTYPE 2: (Ideas Phase)
One 9 year old boy, 1.5 hours
Structure:

Brainstorming (building focused) (15 min)
Destruction (20 minutes)
Building (20 minutes)
Discussion/reflection (15 min)

Take-Aways:
- *Destruction* is a critical element. It is this that really gave kids the licence and confidence to break rules and try new things - and had a crucial impact on building.
- Making an electronically operational item is not as important in the end as the process of building. But it is important. How do we get easy functionality early in the building process to build confidence and drive the creative aspects of building farther
-When brainstorming, storytelling and idea building (not just isolated ideas) were the most compelling and inspiring for Evan.
-Youth (of all ages) are willing to learn from older kids through this process and act as mentors to younger students
-The Electronster would work with children younger than the high-school age range
-The 9 year old was most attracted to the idea of professionals (Nascar drivers etc) coming in and teaching, but still had a great time with us as teachers
-The items that Evan wanted to build were all items that had a creative capacity themselves. While the building was fun, because we didn’t have the tools, capacity, time, or knowledge to make something that really worked mechanically or electronically, the building seemed anti-climactic
-Fun and doable with a single child, but team dynamics of a larger group seem critical to making the Electronster the most successful

COMMUNITY PROTOYPE: (Refinement Phase)
Community Organizer Hao Dinh

Hao did a lightweight prototype of the Electronster with his nephew! Check out his experience:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSvoGm7ohqM&feature=youtu.be

PROTOTYPING GUIDELINES: (Refinement Phase)
Inspired by Hao to help others prototype the Electronster, we created a guide to running the Electronster yourself!

https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1JOq38h3aQ2uEJux5XjqE9Ne5F-GdFGHJhkuEdcpYHvM/edit

PROTOTYPE 3: (Refinement Phase)
Three thirteen year old girls, 1.5 hours  

Structure:

Brainstorming (How do we provide clean water in the 3rd world) (10 min)
Destruction (45 min)
Building (30 min) - Using destruction + other materials, build something related to the initial clean water challenge
Reflection (7 min)

Insights:
-Most exciting to see these girls who are normally “builders,” or mechanically minded, elbow deep in the interstices of a microwave
-Group of 3 was a great size for a non-classroom project. Allowed for group problem solving and high energy
-Building with a distinct goal (water purification) added productive direction to the build. Still, the build portion feels unfinished, as there is infinite possibility and limited time/resources/technical knowledge
Getting in the elevator on our way out… one girl looks up at the ceiling panels and says “If only I had a screwdriver.”

PROTOTYPE 4: (Refinement Phase)
25 kids (boys and girls) at the YMCA afterschool program at Cabrillo Middle School, 1 hour

Structure:

Group brainstorming, stoking exercise and framing the activity: (groups of 12) (10 min)
Destruction (40 min)
*No build phase*
Clean up and debrief: Each had to answer a set of 4 questions on a post it note (see below).

Standing in a circle, each kid would state “I am creative” after which we bestowed upon them their own screwdriver.

Debrief Questions
1) "What do you want to take apart at home?"
2) "What did this class inspire you to do?"
3) "What will you do tomorrow to make this a reality?"
4) "What did you learn about yourself?"

Selected Answers (Question number) "Quote"
(2) "To be a mechanical engineer"
(3) "To study harder so when I grow up I can be a mechanical engineer"
"Tomorrow I will study electronics."
"Tell my teacher about it"
"Tell people what I did"
"Make sure there is a tool for everyone."
"Get a tool box"
(4) "I did not know I could do this!"
"I learned that I may become a good technician
"That I am awesome"
“I learned that I like to unscrew stuff"
"That I am able to do anything I want to achieve"
"I learned that I can take almost anything apart."
"I'm cool"
"I will try a new thing. That I can do it."

Insights:
-Small groups are best for running brainstorms. Having 12 kids in the brainstorm session made it difficult to address everyone and really push kids to think creatively.
-Three minutes is not enough time for people unfamiliar with brainstorming to generate ideas.
-Restrict/encourage groups of no more than three people per item
-The overall class can be scaled, but in chunks. A good ratio is two leaders for every twelve kids
-It is critical each student has the tools they need to prevent supply shortages.
-**Electronics only matter as far as their facade. Electronics represent the forbidden, and create a space allowing kids to be more creative.
-All the kids were on a high when leaving the experience. We need to push to makesure that they still have that high in three months time.
-The kids were very excited to walk away with their own tool. Screwdrivers may not have been the best choice (dangerous?) Consider safety goggles.
-----
*** Awesome inspiration from Vandy, an OpenIDEO community member:

Because when tasked with destroying you can literally do it however you want. So even if you are low in confidence and are frightened of standing out both from failure or achievement, by taking something apart you can do no wrong. And just like building you can destroy as a group, and as we all know when you achieve something alone its great but when you achieve something as a collective it is absolute euphoria.

It is also very creative. Like you mentioned above kids go about destruction very tactically, learning as they progress. Going from smashing to surgically removing parts and maybe even organising. ****
---------


 

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?

The kids at each stop of the Electronster could build unique pieces of a greater puzzle - which operate and stand alone but also can integrate across the country. For example - building robots or visualizers that interact with a specific piece of music. Then, at a designated time, every classroom would play the song, initiating and interacting with their devices. They may be thousands of miles away, but every project would interacting live with the same catalyst in the exact same moment. The kids aboard the Electronster could also use the recycled electronics to work on solutions for problems in the extreme affordability (developing world) sector - building with the same up-cycled re-used materials that would actually be available to such populations. Giving kids a greater goal, with the ability to have real, large scale impact, would provide motivation for learning in a way that traditional classroom settings may not.

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

One of the most importance aspects of the Electronster is how the facilitator leads the building sessions, and what those would actually look like. Input on how the session should be run, what the ratio of teaching to just doing would be, and what skillsets need to be taught for the kids to be successful - needs to be built out and defined more explicitly. Prototyping: For prototyping we would need community support to help assemble electronic materials and raise awareness. We also need to gain access to differing ages of kids in diverse classroom settings - figuring out what teaching methods work best where and with which children. For the final Electronster to become a reality we also need a truck outfitted with materials and tools. We need to decide what is critical, what is inspiring, and what the space should feel like inside and outside. Lastly - we need to engage with schools across the country to create a community of projects!

Evaluation results

11 evaluations so far

1. How well do you feel this idea could inspire young people to cultivate their creative confidence?

Really well – feels like this idea would kickstart creative confidence in young people everywhere - 81.8%

It's getting there – but it seems to need further work to really inspire creative confidence - 18.2%

I don't think this idea would significantly inspire young people's creative confidence - 0%

2. Does this idea have enough momentum behind it to successfully spread and scale to diverse groups of young people globally?

Absolutely – it's inspiring, engaging and I'm sure young people everywhere would be excited to participate - 36.4%

Maybe, but we'd need to figure out more details to really help this idea get adopted more widely - 63.6%

Nope, I don't see this idea having global appeal for diverse audiences of young people - 0%

3. Does this idea show potential for lasting impact on generations of young people and their creative confidence?

This idea seems to have staying power and could impact young people for years to come - 27.3%

I think there's potential for lasting impact but it's not totally clear what that would look like - 63.6%

It feels like this idea is more of a short-term solution that may not last into the future - 9.1%

4. Would this idea appeal to young people who are already creatively confident as well as those who are not?

Absolutely – it would be appealling and accessible to young people of all creative levels and abilities - 54.5%

Probably – but young people who don't consider themselves very creative might need a little extra support or coaching - 45.5%

Not really – this idea is really best suited for young people who already see themselves as creatively confident - 0%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this idea?

It rocked my world - 63.6%

I liked it but preferred others - 36.4%

It didn't get me overly excited - 0%

122 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Angela Brown
Team

I would love to have Electronster come to my middle school. Who do I contact to make it happen?

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hi Angela -

We designed this standalone toolkit so that teachers or facilitators would have all the information they need to run the program themselves. You can download the toolkit here: https://openideo.com/challenge/creative-confidence/impact/the-electronster-toolkit-and-facilitations

Let me know if you have any questions!

Photo of Sanny
Team

Our school has a Colaboratory (http://www.makered.org/united-nations-international-schools-makerspace-aka-colaboratory/), the teachers are fantastic and open to try anything new and cool like this.
Get in touch to see how we can help?!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hi Sanny - thanks so much for reaching out. We are in the process of putting together a more detailed guide/toolkit for schools to try out our program. I will keep you posted - would love to talk about how to make this most successful in the coLaboratory. (Awesome looking program/school by the way!)

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hi Sanny -

Our toolkit is live ! We created it as a standalone guide for teachers, facilitators and parents. Let us know if it appeals to your Colaboratory!

Progress and toolkit is on our OpenIDEO impacts page:
http://bit.ly/1sJu3qw

Photo of Sanny
Team

Hi Olivia,
Congrats! Hope many schools/kids get to use it, so cool and so needed. Our Colaboratory is in the Elementary school, but will forward it anyway and look forward to hear their thoughts. Will let you know.
All the best scaling up,
Sanny

Photo of Yann Hirlimann
Team

Hello Olivia,

I was just wondering how the experience of the electronster was moving along?
I am putting together some lab ideas for summer labs here in Senegal and maybe a tinkering lab would be an interesting option.

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hi Yann -
Thanks for reaching out! We are putting together a comprehensive toolkit (in pdf format) that will explain in detail how to run an Electronster session in your classroom/home/community! When we have it finished up and polished (hopefully in the next month or so) we will definitely send it your way!

Best,
Olivia

Photo of Yann Hirlimann
Team

great to hear things are moving forward!! can't wait to see the toolkit.. If on our side we develop formal documents for our labs, I'll send them over for you to have a look.

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hi Yann -
The full toolkit is finally live!
You can download it, and find out more about the progress of the Electronster on our OpenIDEO impacts page:
http://bit.ly/1sJu3qw

Photo of Yann Hirlimann
Team

Great great news! i'll go through it immediately and hope to try it real soon! Can i post on twitter about it?

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Sure thing! We would love to get it out to as many people as possible. My handle is @oliviavagelos (you don't have to include me but are welcome to if you want).

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Feel free to let me know if you need any help once your idea is the 'Winning concept' :)

I would love to be a part of this

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hey Jonathan! Check out our new standalone toolkit (and progress):
http://bit.ly/1sJu3qw

Would love any feedback!

Best,
Olivia

Photo of Hao Dinh
Team

Olivia,

Check out another Electronster session we had over Xmas 2013. My nephew and niece (and I) had a great time! Thanks for the awesome idea!

http://bit.ly/1if4nR9

Hao

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hi Hao -
So glad to see the Electronster out in the community! Jeff and I are currently working on putting together an online toolkit for greater distribution, and working with the Silicon Valley YMCAs to implement it into their regular programming!
Love hearing about you trying it out! We may hit you up with our toolkit for feedback.

Best,
Olivia

Photo of Hao Dinh
Team

Olivia, please send me the toolkit. I'm working on a summer school program for 6th - 7th graders this summer and would love to have an Electronster activity/workshop.

Hao

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hello Hao -
Toolkit is finally live! Find it (and more information on progress) on our OpenIDEO impacts page:
http://bit.ly/1sJu3qw

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

This way children will also learn about sustainable development as they will be using recycle material, using recycled materials and bring .This will help children to develop there mind in creating creative things. this idea is really nice.!!!!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Thanks!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Great concept. I like the physical and reuse aspect to it demonstrated through a unique and eye-catching journeying vehicle!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Thanks! Although we actually moved on from the form factor of the traveling vehicle, in order to create a model that could scale and be implemented more effectively, the vision behind it has remained! Glad to hear you are excited about it.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Congratulations!

I can't wait to see you idea take off and be successful.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Congratulations, Olivia! I am so excited for you. If there is anything I can assist you with moving forward just let me know.

Congratulations, again!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Thanks Mandy! As we make moves to implement this on a greater scale I may definitely come to you for grant advising!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Olivia, please, please do come to me for grant/funding advising. I am here for you and your team 100%. My personal email is writemandy@aol.com. Contact me at anytime, and do enjoy your holiday season!

Photo of Hao Dinh
Team

Olivia, congrats on being selected as one of the winning ideas. My nephew is going around his house taking apart "old electronics". He is having a blast!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

That is SO great to hear. That he is continuing to hold that mindset of capability is such validation!

Photo of Yann Hirlimann
Team

Congratulations!! I hope the truck hits the road soon!! I hope that the end of th challenge does not mean the end of very enriching exchanges. We'll come up with some tinkering activities in our Imagination Labs here in Senegal very soon, and we will definitely come to you for inspiration.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I like the idea of recycling, using recycled materials and bring them to kids in order to create something new and creative. I also agree with you: "creativity emerges in deconstruction" so good job!! It is a great idea.

Photo of Yann Hirlimann
Team

loved reading the feedback from your first sessions. Here we've started our imagination Labs and are having great ideas coming in as to how to upcycle objects when they die. good luck and keep us posted, I'm sure we'll come to tinkering soon here.( AHving lab sessions on upcycling coming in April)

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

New link to the "Grant Writing - Advice from the Trenches" document! This one should work, fingers crossed:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_wsTrSxUjAYdEYwOGZwbDAwZ2s/edit

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I love this idea! I took electronics in high school and recently retook a practical electronics class at work, and both experiences were great. Taking apart an light or building a circuit board from scratch gave me a much better handle on the design of simple things like marquee signs and motors. It's a great way for young people to feel comfortable with otherwise mysterious devices.

Some things to think about -- the materials and tools. Often electronics require soldering irons (and solder), wire cutters/strippers, etc. How can we engage the younger audience that may not be able to use these tools? In one of my classes, we started building with a breadboard and then replicated this task with a Arduino circuit board and soldering components. This could be a good way to make as complicated task more approachable!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Thanks Vicki! It is so true that we often wander around in an entirely electronic world with no idea how the things surrounding us actually exist (to be honest my knowledge of a computer often felt synonymous to a leprechaun in a box that mostly did what it was told).

Great point about engaging the younger audience. I think using the arduino and raspberry pi platforms could be a way to bridge that gap, and create even cooler things in the output. This could also be a way to hypothetically link projects all across the country - having them interact with one another could add a very interesting component.

In addition we could also emphasize an artistic, sculptural aspect of electronic components - recycling and repurposing them to build art installations and creations. However I don't think this should replace the electronic building for the younger (and any age), only compliment it.

Would love to hear more about how you learned Arduino - and what kind of teaching and projects were the most helpful and engaging.

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Just posted about our prototype - right below the initial description! Let me know your thoughts and suggestions!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hi Vicki! What we found out in terms of tools is that for destroying, we could get by with lots of screw drivers. Screw drivers ended up being critical with pliers and wire cutters coming next. The hammers were the most used tool, but we thought upon reflection that the hammers don't lead to the learning we want, so we would prefer not to have them.

For building, we could focus on using electronics as art pieces, by which a glue gun could be widely used by a high school audience. They might not be functional electronics, but it would be a real creation.

It would be cool to prototype building electronics that actually work...

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hi Jeff! Very fun and steampunk-esqe to make art from used electronics. Definitely an awesome way to make use of those old parts.

A while ago, there was a kickstarted called Makey Makey that turned everyday objects into keyboards or piano keys. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joylabs/makey-makey-an-invention-kit-for-everyone All they use are alligator clips and some sort of conducive putty :) And of course their custom circuit board.

It would be an interesting idea to see if we could create a similar kit, made up of common parts in old electronics, that could easily be assembled to make a simple on/off light or something.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

So cool! I had only quickly scanned the original post and didn't know you guys were prototyping this weekend. What an awesome opportunity to get quick feedback.

Thoughts below:
- Engineering is a very technical word for young people. How about calling it something like: "Break and Make" or "BIY - Build It Yourself"?
- Love the brainstorming session and attacking session. That seems appealing to me and I'm waayy older than those kids :)
- To balance the boys and girls, maybe you could encourage group work towards a finished product.
- One idea to add content to this exercise could be to make this into a prototyping session. The brainstorm could be: What's one crazy, fun, exciting electronic that you wish you had? (Think levitating skateboard or talking TV.) The rest of the exercise could be around creating that pie-in-the-sky object!

I asked our electronics facilitator if I could share our class slides with you. Will be back in touch shortly once I hear back.

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

-agreed - BIY, Break and Make, the Creators - all sound more accessible. I would love to see them calling themselves engineers at the end however - giving them the confidence that engineering isn't as exclusive or technical - and that they are truly engineers.

-we really wanted to get them in a more flexible mindset - and get some good group flow moving - it provided some positive energy

- We definitely saw more success when the kids started working together - they made far greater leaps of progress thinking strategically.

What are your thoughts on assigning teams versus letting them freely form? Maybe something to prototype. It could better encourage teamwork - and we could include challenge/competition aspect. On the other hand watching them come together organically was very cool. The girls and boys worked together well - I wonder if they would "resent" being placed in teams without their consent?

-Love the brainstorm prompt/pie-in-the-sky direction. One of the best rules of brainstorming is that anything is possible and no idea is too strange. Also - making something that doesn't exist yet (like a flying skateboard) makes failing more inevitable and therefor a creative and positive experience!

Would be great to see those slides! You could email them our way - or we can add you to the virtual team and you can post them as images here.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Unfortunately, I can't actually send the slides. I'm able to present them if we do a Google Hangout, though! I took another look and they are somewhat advanced, especially in light of what we've talked about since my original comment.

Could be interesting to do an experiment with assigning teams vs. coming together organically and see if the results differ. There may be different feelings about one or the other, but my guess is that it could influence the final product!

It would be cool to have kids self-identify within some set of labels (builder, thinker, destructor, etc) and then form the teams with an even distribution of each. Thoughts?

Happy to join the virtual team and help out where I can!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

I just added you to the virtual team!
Let me talk to our team members over here - google hangout could be a great brainstorming session.

In the next big prototype we will be seeing if we can get some feedback on team creation - I definitely agree with you that it has the potential to have a pretty significant impact.

Also - I realized I never commented on MakeyMakey. I went back and re-watched it today. This is a very, very cool concept. If we decide to do this in the form of programs that are self led out of the community, this could be a PERFECT concept for helping teachers and students with no electrical experience make actual, functioning systems. The idea of having a physical toolkit, as well as an online support toolkit, could make this much more effective.

I love like the idea of kids doing some self reflection about their skills! We could also do a StrengthsQuest test first - so kids have some confidence about how they contribute to groups and teams in general. Going with the categories you suggested - it could be cool to have the "types" portrayed be role models to communicate them - (like McGiver, Edison etc). We will try and include this in the next big prototype.

We found some contacts at the local YMCA - we think we may be able to partner with them to test out some of these awesome builds.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Woohoo – bring on the collaboration!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Just put up a prototyping guide! Would love any feedback. Let us know how it goes if you try it at home!
https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1JOq38h3aQ2uEJux5XjqE9Ne5F-GdFGHJhkuEdcpYHvM/edit?usp=sharing

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Looks great. Can't wait to hear how things go!

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Hey all - just posted a more refined mission statement in bold below the pictures. Let me know how it resonates!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I love this idea! Seeing that a lot of our interactions have to do with electronics I think its important and beneficial for kids to learn how they function through dissembling and rebuilding. Its a great opportunity for them to learn and ask questions.

Some things to think about would be how to get these kids interested in this and really engaged. Also, how much knowledge they would need in order to build something. Maybe through training or videos would be very beneficial and an easier method.

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Definitely! Getting kids more curious and involved in the world around them is a huge goal of ours.

We have been really honing in on the destruction phase as the key point of mind-set shift - the jumping point for all future building. And are currently wondering if we are actually the right resource to run the building stage (whether we have the capabilities to implement something at scale) - since there are a number of programs that really do building well, but few that focus on destruction. But depending on how/where/in what form this continues we long term would like to have both!

Just put up a more refined mission statement in bold below the pictures. Let me know if it resonates!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Interesting idea behind children being creative through destruction. Considering the pressing issue of "e-waste" this could also serve as a clever alternative to the dumping of electronic garbage.

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Agreed - it definitely originated out of those two simultaneous goals. Just posted a mission statement in bold under the photos - really trying to hone in on the idea of creativity through destruction. Let me know your thoughts!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Awesome Olivia, thank you!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hi Olivia,

Congrats on the fantastic submission!

I just wanted to let you know that I created a document, which could be called Volume I, regarding grants. I've been having a difficult time posting it/uploading the google doc but I do have a link on my profile page for: "Grant Writing - Advice from the Trenches".

You should be able to access the link on my profile though I believe it brings you to my google drive. . .but it's there for you to peruse! Hopefully, it will help you secure some funding for your awesome program!

Best,
Mandy

Photo of Olivia Vagelos
Team

Mandy that is an awesome resource. Given what you clearly know on funding - we may ping you for more input as we really start to think about scale and widespread implementation. Thanks so much for this!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Oh, Olivia, I'm thrilled you like it and find it a valuable resource. I'm also thrilled to know you can open it because another community member was having issues, so thank you for letting me know that crazy link works (it's been working for me).

And feel free to contact me at anytime if you need more information about how to navigate through the grant/non-profit world! I'm here to help!

Best,
Mandy

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Hi Mandy - I got it to work from my windows computer at school - but just tried to re-open it on my Mac and am having problems. Could you add me to the list of people with access? My email is ovagelos@stanford.edu

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DeletedUser

That's interesting because I'm on a Mac and it's working for me. Email going postal now!

~ Mandy

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Awesome - got it in my inbox!
Yeah the link on your page was taking me to my own general google drive folder. Very odd.

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DeletedUser

You have actually hit upon a gem of insight in your research & testing unlike the other ideas that I have read.

The idea of destruction as a learning tool is brilliant. Because when tasked with destroying you can literally do it however you want. So even if you are low in confidence and are frightened of standing out both from failure or achievement, by taking something apart you can do no wrong. And just like building you can destroy as a group, and as we all know when you achieve something alone its great but when you achieve something as a collective it is absolute euphoria.

It is also very creative. Like you mentioned above kids go about destruction very tactically, learning as they progress. Going from smashing to surgically removing parts and maybe even organising?

People who have commented are also right to suggest some kind of controlled mechanic to go together with the old components ...

Here are my two cents for a lesson plan:

I’m going to use a slightly different example, and use LEGO as a tool. Just so that we all know what it is and how it’s used. But you can use anything. However it does have to be some mechanic to house parts, that can be taken apart and re-built and be universal.

Imagine this, a class of 20 children divided into groups of 2.
In front of them, is a big model of the Eiffel Tower built out of yellow bricks.

Step 1: Destroy the Tower.
Maybe even add a creative twist here, where the kids have to make up stories of how it was destroyed. Monsters, aliens, earthquake whatever. But it has to go!!! AAAAGGGHHH!

Step 2: Copy and Learn
You present to them with another, IDENTICAL tower this time out of blue bricks. And task them to rebuild the one they destroyed using the other tower as a guide. Tell them they are free to take the other tower apart too, so that they can see how the different parts connect.

Copying is the strongest learning tool we have, and though this exercise they will familiarise themselves with the parts, but with not direct pressure to be ‘creative’ while at the same time building and completing a task. Watch how the kids will organise tasks themselves, who will build, who will organise. Will they do it in stages or from the bottom up?

Mentoring will be key here to help them through the process.

Step 3: Creating.
You now present them with a box of green bricks. The number of bricks is exactly the same as both of the towers. So they could, in theory build another one. But what you will ask them to do is to build a freestanding tower using the same number of bricks, but by deciding how it’s going to be different? If it is going to be higher, or wider, is it going to have protecting against the aliens etc?

Here is when you will have some friendly competition between different groups, as the kids will be at their most confident and creative because they have been through the process already.

Step 4: Presenting & Sharing
Now all the kids have to do is tell us their story. Who destroyed the fist tower, what helped them rebuild the second one and the story behind the third and final tower.

You can take photos, record the presentations and share them all around the world.

DIGITAL PLATFORM.

If the tasks are the same world over. ie the same tower etc. That will give you a digital platform to share and explore what other people have built and why.

You can have different levels by adding more complex components.

This way it wont be just images of ANYTHING, they will be creative solutions to a particular brief. But the brief they wright themselves after learning the skills needed.

Throughout the process you can also weave in other skills, interests and lessons. You can tell them about the tower the are re-building, you can use simple mathematics by making them measure buildings etc.

Also for the teacher, they have built you a tower to use for the next group of kids.

Peace x

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Hi Vanya - really awesome additions here. I posted your rephrase of the creativity of deconstruction under at the top of the page for people! Really intrigued by the multi levels of iteration the kids will go through. Would love to hear all about how this goes as soon as you tested - has some awesome potential!

Also - I just posted a more defined mission statement in bold below the photos. Check it out and let me know if it resonates

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DeletedUser

Very creative way to approach recycling. Kids would be fascinated to see something like this in implementation. Did the prototyping take a while to develop?

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Hey Naveen - destruction is pretty free form! We did go through a number of prototypes to figure out which variables were most successful.

Check out our new mission statement in bold below the pictures and let me know your thoughts!

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DeletedUser

I would have loved to have participated in a program like this back when I was this age. Do you think that the whole process of destroying all of the VHS tapes/ other electronics may have distracted the kids at all?

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Hey Dylan - we actually think the destruction is the key (and innovative part)! It encourages creativity in a surprising way. I just added a big mission statement in bold under the pictures above. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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DeletedUser

A very creative idea! Deconstruction and Re-creating is a great way to understand mechanisms and technology and to rebuild their purpose into a new application.

Brilliant!!

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Thanks Jonathan - just put up (in bold right under the pictures) a more defined mission statement. Check it out and see if it resonates!

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Hey Team,

Had another thought about corporate sponsors for this per Jeffrey's earlier question (in case you want additional sponsors to OpenIDEO and d.school.)

I used to work with the woman who is lead creative director on Toyota's US advertising business. She's a huge corporate responsibility advocate (in past jobs she co-founded the Pedigree Adoption Drive, has partnered with UNICEF, launched the Nissan Leaf etc. etc.)

I can think of a couple ways you might think about Toyota as a potential partner: 1) Toyota Racing: Have the Electronster bus travel with Toyota's NASCAR team http://www.toyotaracing.com 2) Toyota Dealers: have this take place at dealers using Toyota Certified Technicians as teachers (same idea as I shared earlier with auto-body shops, but UPSCALE!:) 3) Toyota Prius: spin the program as having shared values around creating a better future with electronics. Get sponsorship money from Toyota and slap a logo on your bus/website.

If you're serious about Toyota, put together a concise summary of the idea and I'll be happy to share with my friend. Think about communicating not only what the idea is and how it benefits kids but what a partnership could look like and how it would benefit Toyota's brand as well. Here is their Values Statement:

Toyota: Let's go places
Let's see what's possible.
Let's make cars more exciting.
Let's share good ideas.
Let's help make great things happen.
Let's imagine a better world.
Then let's make one.
Let's go places.

Let me know if you'd like to seek Toyota out as a partner.

Best,
Brad

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Hey Bradley - Very intrigued by this possibility. I will put some thought into a proposal for their team in the next two or three days and send it along.

Especially highlighting many aspects of their mission statement - "lets go places, let's see what's possible, let's help make great things happen, let's imagine a better world" - I see all of these being relevant and having potential.

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Working on this right now. Hopefully done in a few hours.

Just put up a prototyping guide - let me know what you think!
https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1JOq38h3aQ2uEJux5XjqE9Ne5F-GdFGHJhkuEdcpYHvM/edit?usp=sharing

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Prototyping guide looks great. As far as getting people to build things: did you think about providing a few thought-starters? What it you showed an example of how to make a toy car out of 2 VHS tapes? Can't wait to see the Toyota pitch. I can only post at night Pacific time, so I'll get back as soon as I can when you post it.

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What a great idea. To explore the hidden world behind electronic devices is super interesting. During my holiday I visited a friend of mine with a small child. Even with less than 2 years he had so much fun assembling furniture with us and exploring the tools. Though we had to watch him so that he did not hurt himself. How did you tackle safety issues during prototyping?

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Hi Sabine! Love that a two year old is already on board. There is something magical when you give kids the tools to take things apart (and build) - we had some 6th grade girls last week elbow deep in the interstices of a microwave loving every minute.

Safety wise - we made sure everyone was wearing gloves (for whatever nasty crud had accumulated over the years) and safety glasses (definitely key when you are wrenching apart these things).

Any power tools that were used (mostly for the build stage) - we walked them through safety of each specific tool as they needed it. (For power tools - making sure the that piece you are working on is secured to a stable surface is also really important). Although we stayed away from electrically powered saws at this stage.

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Hey Sabine - just put together a prototyping guide so people could try out the Electronster with their own kids, neighbors, classrooms etc. Would love any feedback.
https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1JOq38h3aQ2uEJux5XjqE9Ne5F-GdFGHJhkuEdcpYHvM/edit?usp=sharing

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Olivia, I prototyped your idea yesterday with my nephew. He and I had an awesome time! I've made a video of the experience and his and my reactions. http://youtu.be/FSvoGm7ohqM

Also I was thinking it would be a good idea to have a template / guideline that quickly lets people know how to prototype your idea. I've uploaded the template/guideline I made for your idea (very simple). Thought is people can download the guideline (which tells them what/how to prototype your idea) and prototype. What do you think?

Guideline I used: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/100096797/Prototype%20Template%20HD.pdf

Guideline Template others can use: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/100096797/Prototype%20Template%20v1.pdf

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OMG! The prototype with your nephew is awesome. Love how you've added insights like how he was hesitant to jump into destroying initially. Makes me wonder whether there might be an online component of Electronster where activities could be shared & folks could upload stuff like you have. Could help increase the outreach beyond when the truck is visiting your location? And it's great to see how your simple prototype form is inspiring folks across the challenge. Seems that folks find it easier to consider a prototype when they can break it down like this. Way to go!

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Hey Meena - would love your feedback on our newest prototyping guide! Working on narrowing some further directions for bigger takeaways and implementation with YMCA this week as well.

https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1JOq38h3aQ2uEJux5XjqE9Ne5F-GdFGHJhkuEdcpYHvM/edit?usp=sharing

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DeletedUser

I love the destruction and creation idea. It's fantastic and definitely taps into a not often utilized part of play/ creation, messy/ destructive art. So perfect!

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Just put up a prototyping guide. If you have any kids try it out and tell us what you think! We want insights from as many people as possible!
https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1JOq38h3aQ2uEJux5XjqE9Ne5F-GdFGHJhkuEdcpYHvM/edit?usp=sharing

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Olivia, I plan to provide another Field Note update on all the Refinement ideas by Sunday (Dec 1). Let me know by Saturday 6 pm EST USA if there is anything you want me to highlight to help progress your concept. Any prototypes completed, any assistance needed, any breakthroughs or anything you want to highlight. You can provide me video or text. I will consolidate. Thanks in advance.

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Just finished a more detailed prototyping guide! Thanks for the push to do this - hopefully we can get people trying it at home this week!
https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1JOq38h3aQ2uEJux5XjqE9Ne5F-GdFGHJhkuEdcpYHvM/edit?usp=sharing

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Olivia, I recommended to Alaine, creator of the Create Kit idea, that The Electronster would be a great Create Kit.

http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/create-kits/#c-f1c43c71c86c6f920804e180114a673d

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Olivia, your concept is highlighted in this week's Field Note

http://www.openideo.com/fieldnotes/openideo-team-notes/creative-confidence-challenge-community-champion-update-10/

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hey there great idea! do you think we could colab a bit?

heres my idea if youd like to take a look?

http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/the-5-senses-project/

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Perhaps you might add something about how you see your idea intersecting with this one to kick-start some collaboration, Daniel.

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Hey Daniel - thanks for posting! To echo Meena, would love your thoughts on how the ideas might come together

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Great idea Olivia. I know this would be a welcome and big hit in my fam! I love how the truck itself looks like it might become part of this evolving electronic creation...

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Yes! Would love to engage kids on building/creating on the truck itself. Perhaps transformer-esque. I want to see it roll in to town and everyone be struck by this crazy thing driving past that is shaped like a robot, or has electronic dragon wings or something even stranger.

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Excellent idea! I'd love to see such an awesome truck here in Senegal.
The idea of asking the kids to write what they retained on a post-it at the end of the session is simple and excellent. You could add a little camera for them to briefly explain what they did and what ideas it gave them.
Maybe to better prepare kids for that experience, it would be interesting to create a Ted Ed explaining the process or the basics of electronics. It would give educators a visual tool that they could taylor to their classroom and it would give visibility to your project.

I like your idea of creating solutions for extreme affordability places, but it would also be interesting to open their eyes on the brilliant everyday innovations already existing in poor countries.
I would love to see you replicate your idea fast in Africa, to create fascinating innovations and a two way collaboration between continents.
check out this 3D printer made from scrap (the guy is not a teen anymore, but it's inspiring).
http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/african-inventor-makes-3d-printer-e-waste-video.html
Hope you hit the road fast!

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Hi Yann - really insightful additions to the project. I think the video component of reflection is very compelling.

I am very familiar with TED, TEDx, but not TED Ed. I will look into it ASAP. Video is such a strong communicator - especially across cultural and language barriers.

Totally agree on sharing both directions - extreme affordability and developed world tech should inform one another - not just in a single direction. I think this has maybe the most powerful potential for inspiring kids everywhere.

I will check out the 3D printer and get back to you after some more research on your ideas above!


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Hi Olivia, Just another little contribution. This animation of a mobile phone visiting a psychiatrist could be a great and fun introduction to show kids at schools before visiting the van. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJP18eKelws.

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Yes! How do we also teach kids about lifecycle, recycling and being conscious about using the resources of our planet wisely?

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In fact I wanted to write a concept on that, but not much time and brainstorming team. I'll try to come out with something before the end of the challenge. There's an interesting book called "eco literacy for educators" on that subject. you could have a little sign in the truck asking the kids: "What will be your products next life? "

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Hi Yann - in our most recent prototype (v.4 - to be posted soon) we restructured our brainstorm such that the destruction and build time was centered on the challenge of trying to bring clean, sanitary water to people in developing countries in need of it. We found that it was compelling for the kids - and got them thinking about solving problems that often seem monumental through actions they themselves would take.

We will be thinking more concretely on what this program would like in extreme affordability places over the next week. Would love any more specific insights you have.

Also more ideas for incorporating/highlighting the recycling and reusing part of this project!

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I really like this idea. When I was young, I used to break and reassemble alarm clocks, toy and radio etc.., If there was this program, I could understand more about logic of electronics. Actually, radio was hard challenge for a 10 years old girl.

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Thanks Alice! There is something in that dismantling that we have seen to unlock an often previously-hidden confidence in kids. Let us know any thoughts on what would have been most helpful for you when you were a kid and starting to take things apart!

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Olivia, I remember when I was younger, how I loved to take things apart. Putting things back together was another story (wasn't very successful). But the experience taught me that it is fine to be "messy" and ok to "destroy" things. Loved it!

Olivia, I plan to prototype v.3 (single child experience) this weekend with my nephew. Will try to video or at least take some pics of the experience.

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Awesome. Would love to hear how it goes. Especially interested in how you lead the brainstorm/creative session at the end, what type of building and creation you experience, and how and when you ask the kids to reflect on the experience.

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Hi Olivia, congrats on making the Top 22 shortlist! We were really excited about your fresh take on getting kids active and hands-on, and we were inspired by your early prototyping efforts and revisions. As you look toward Refinement, we hope you'll share your thoughts on the deeper need that your idea is meeting for young people. Is this just a fun, engaging activity? Is there a deeper purpose or intention behind this idea – what might that be and why? Also, how might you envision this idea spreading to low-income communities in the US or in the developing world? For more tips for this Refinement phase, check out http://ideo.pn/cc-refinetips and catch our Lowdown on Refinement at http://bit.ly/oi_refine

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Thanks! I will definitely dig into those questions.

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Olivia, my name is Hao Dinh, the Challenge Community Champion. Congrats on being shortlisted. So many good ideas thus I want to make it easy for folks to quickly educate themselves on the ideas so they can focus on helping refine the concepts.

Can you provide me an elevator speech of your idea, maximum 30 seconds audio/video. Or you can reply to my post with text. (hints on developing a elevator speech: http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/how-create-your-memorable-elevator-pitch-four-simple-steps/)

I plan to consolidate the elevator speeches into one Field Note. (Field Notes are weekly challenge updates)

My thought is to provide you an opportunity to hype up your concept, ask for whatever assistance you need or provide suggestions on how to prototype your idea.

Much appreciated if I can get your elevator speech by Friday (November 22) 11 pm EST USA.

Thank you in advance,
Hao

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Hello Hao - great idea to consolidate. I just saw this but will try and get you an elevator pitch ASAP.

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DeletedUser

This a very interesting idea! Giving children their space to create is a great way of harvesting their creativity. I for one love the idea of the mobile classroom, and I love that you already created a prototype. I also thought about getting kids to teach themselves. Perhaps one could align with a school district to allow the students to work along with a teacher to create a curriculum and the student would decide what topics he/she can teach their classmates

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Yes! We definitely are not set on form factor - we want to see what the most effective way to implement the core concepts (giving kids the chance to break things to give them confidence in breaking rules and thinking flexibly, using the experience and skills they already have to then design, emphasizing the importance and cool potential for recycling, giving props to failure, and the power of collaboration!)

Let us know if you have more concrete suggestions for how this would look in a classroom vs an out-of-school activity. We love input!

Thanks for coming on board!

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DeletedUser

Super cool. Let's see if we can move this forward by really making the users of such a medium for education the creators of the space as well. What makes a space for creativity and collaboration? Is it people, resources, things? What about capturing failure through a "wall of fail" or something like that?

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Wow, this is really awesome. I love how you had an Idea, then prototyped it and already are taking lessons from it. The discussion in the comments is also awesome. I think the MakeyMakey that Vicky is referring to is a good concept to look at. Maybe it can help in building things.
Another great idea is to think in models like AirBnb. Especially with the way you ran your prototype. It's something that can quite easily be replicated in other places. And if you add some sort of online forum to the mix, where people can share ideas for the sessions (how to use the makeymakey, which type of electronics give the best treasure when taken apart, which elements to be aware of because of toxicity), that could be a great help.

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Thanks Arjan - Interesting comparison to AirBnb. Do you have more specifics on portions of that model you think would be most relevant to our concept?

We are definitely considering an online forum. We hadn't thought of recommendations for best types of electronics to dissemble for treasures - great idea. Also - maybe an integrated mapping function for people to locate their local electronic recycling centers would make a nice addition.

Let us know what other functions/content you would want most prominently on such a forum. It could be teaching focused and curated by Electronster staff - recommendations for how to lead the projects, materials needed, brainstorming guidelines - training for the leaders. It could be leader peer-to-peer inspiration focused - leaders sharing successes, failures and learnings from sessions held. It could be peer-to-beer student based - a place for the kids to inspire one another.

It could include all of the above! Would love feedback on things you see as being most important to include at a beta level.

Of course this will also be influenced by final form factor - whether this is still a mobile truck/s of some sort, or community/self led courses happening everywhere, or even classroom integration!
All would benefit from different emphases.

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Congrats on this post being today's onsite Featured Idea!

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Love the name and mobile nature of this. Perhaps it could be something that works in alongside this idea: http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/kids-fix-creative-fixing-class/ We hope that you guys might collaborate and help grow each others ideas. Creativity loves company!

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DeletedUser

Thanks for the connection Meena!
I think the Electronster and the fixing classes/platform might work well together.

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We just uploaded our prototyping observations (right under the initial description above!) - let us know if you have any input for us mobing forward.

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Hello? Awesome! I just got back to OpenIDEO after a week on vacation and this is *so* exciting. Great share of insights and learnings from your prototyping session. Digging the thought about stuff to take away (and help spread the word even further) and all the great discussion going on here.

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Also am totally digging the notion that kids could become part of the teaching as well (Electronistas? ;^)

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Great name :)

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Is the school bus sacred? I'd ditch it. And here's why:

The core of your idea is the experience of breaking things and then putting them back together in a cool way. So where's the best place to do that?

The bus costs money and it can only be in one place at a time. It takes employee hours to drive the thing even when no kids are learning:( It's not particularly scalable. And if you wanted to go around the country kids would never be able to come back and build on what they learned.

I think a lot of people would agree that some of the most brilliant innovations right now come from sharing resources (think ZipCar, AirBnB, etc.) What if you used places that already exist with lots of tools instead of building your own?

Jeffrey asked me how you could get sponsors and investors on board. I'd move this thing to Meineke or some other auto-body chain on Sundays (when they might normally be closed.) That way the auto-body shop gets to know their neighborhood and sign up customers. And all they have to do is give away something that doesn't cost anything: time on Sunday. There's an auto-body shop in every neighborhood with some pretty cool equipment and really smart electricians/builders that could help lead sessions. Plus it's a cool place to hang out if you're a teen.

Home depot does something like this as well, they might be a willing host. Or Radio Shack. Etc. http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops

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Thanks for the input Bradley - I think that using the existing town resources could be a great way to find skilled instructors, workspace, and connect people personally with local businesses. We definitely aren't committed to the mobile aspect of project - and you make some very good points.

We will reach out to some of the types of businesses you suggested and see if we can get them on board to prototype!

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Hi Olivia. Any chance you would provide some feedback to a concept I'm building? I would be forever indebted! http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/selfstyle.org-the-building-of-be.

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No problem!

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Hi Olivia. Congratulations on a cool and amazing project. It has so much to offer.
An idea for the reflection portion of your project -
You are mobile. You collect discarded electronics, travel to a site, stop, and invite kids to come and create with it. How about you plant the creations in their local library as artifacts, sculptures, working fantastical objects - whatever they are! They can be displayed for the families and the community to admire and enjoy.
The kids can make a presentation in the library about teamwork, what they learned and how much fun the Electronster is. They can display -
1 - the creations
2 - the photos they took while they were working,
? video as well
3 - their bumps along the road (failure boards)
4 - their post it reflections - (so refreshing and honest)
Creative confidence building happens at many points in this project. Great!
Finally, if you decide to have each stop become part of a bigger puzzle, the "big event" can take place in the library as well where everyone can share the experience. Can you video this somehow so that the different communities can see what is happening in the other communities in real time?
"When is it coming back to town?"

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This is a FANTASTIC idea - making the projects public to the greater community. I also really like the location choice of library.

We will go talk to our public libraries and scope out what this could look like!

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Smiling! I am so happy to contribute to your creation.

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DeletedUser

I just want to point out in the pictures how cool it is that the kids wrote that they learned how to use tools in new [creative] ways and that they said they learned to create. Olivia, this is such a cool result.

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We have also been starting to think about what the vehicle itself would look like and how it would function. Would the kids help open the truck and set up the work stations? What other cool tools could we have on board.

One thing we want to include is a "Wall of Failures" - where kids pose with things that went terribly wrong and get to talk about it. It can then serve as inspiration to the next kids who see it. Sort of a wall of infamy. We love the idea of emphasizing the creative benefits of failing.

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DeletedUser

I heard a talk from SparkTruck founder, Eugine Korsunskiy, and heard an interesting thing about going through all solutions before landing on a truck. Perhaps we should explore what this might look like as a toolkit or website before coming back to a physical service.

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DeletedUser

Congratulations on a great idea. I would've loved to have access to something like this when I was growing up.
With so much electronic waste around these days, collecting items for the kids to play with shouldn't be a problem. Being able to recycle the leftovers once they are done would also be a bonus.