Fresh Paint, Fresh Start

By: Mrs. D'Arco, Northwood School Faculty

Today marks the beginning of a new semester and a new start for Innovation + Design students. We are excited to share news of the expansion of our program to include a second course. Interest and enthusiasm are high and we welcome our new group of inventors! And- our recently re-designed space (thanks to last semester's group) will help us get off to a good start. 

We're calling this semester's warm-up project "The Lazy Challenge." Students have been tasked with coming up with inventions that make some of our most mundane daily tasks (like brushing your teeth, or drying off after a shower) easy for the laziest of people. The project is helping our groups loosen up, get a little silly, and think outside of the box right from the start.

We looked at this mechanized ice cream cone turner as an inspiration for our "lazy challenge." The tool rotates your ice cream so that you don't have to turn it manually. 

On the first day of class, we started with a brief round of introductions and then we quickly paired off and selected our "tasks to make lazy" from a cup of pre-selected ideas. Students worked with their partners to come up with some possible solutions and tried to think of some precedents that might inspire their work. We had time to re-group and talk together about our ideas before the end of class. Each pair walked away from our informal feedback session with a few more ideas. I am always surprised by the number and range of ideas that come out of these group brainstorming sessions. It is amazing what happens when people come together and think collaboratively without the burden of one kind of pressure or another. Tomorrow, students will work on sketches and diagrams of their proposed inventions. We're working on the following tasks. 

We folded up these sticky notes and took turns choosing them. 

We're also introducing two new program elements this semester. In addition to sharing progress of their personal projects in the portfolio section, students will share news and reflections on this course right here on our blog each week. Check back often to hear from them about how things are going. They'll also be blogging about new inventions of interest to them.