Let’s get down to business…

Today started off with a spirited debate about our app design and layout. After going back and forth with each other for about an hour we decided (Alexis suggested) we divide and conquer.

This turned out to be a great suggestion and we actually started to make progess. Jake and Bridget worked on the presentation for Wednesday while Rob, Eric and Alexis worked together on the app. Less chefs in the kitchen with the app was a good thing. We all had input on what went into the app but with just a few of us working on it we were able to make a lot of progess. At the end of class we showed each other what we came up with and gave each other feedback.

The end is in sight!

Phase 3 Underway

Passing through the 12th week, we have now begun Phase 3. In this phase we are shifting the focus to implementing our solution.

Thanks to the help of Pam, Janet Banks, and Richard Spencer we were granted access to the Creative Thought Gallery at Warren Central High School to orchestrate a workshop with students.  

IMG_0389We started off the workshop with an icebreaker to get everyone acquainted and comfortable.

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Then for the exercise, the room allowed for us to break up the group into pods of 3 to receive a more personal insight. We explained the goals of our solution and the main touch points in the student’s journey. We then had the students help us revise our journey map. We gave the students index cards with possible examples of what could happen at each touch point and encouraged them to add ones that they thought of.  

IMG_6441The students took off with the exercise and created some additions that we had not thought of.

IMG_6494.JPGWe then asked the students firsthand what incentives could we add to our solution to keep them interested in continuing. This also provided us some great insights we had not thought of.  

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Then we ended the workshop with……

Yep, PIZZA!

PHASE TWO, DONE!

After a long, grueling couple of days getting our presentations and data compiled, we finally got everything done! WOOH, what a relief. But before we could do that we got one final envision session done.

Mini Group

Over the weekend we got in one last envisioning session with a small of high school kids. We wanted to ask them questions based upon the finds we got from our Graffiti wall with the high school swim team. The focus of the last method, revolved around the words Entertainment, Social Media, and Accessibility. With the object to make entrepreneur exciting and fun for juniors and seniors in high school.

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The first task the students were asked to accomplish was to generate a word association map based upon our three focus words. Once there were a couple responses for each section. We proceeded to have them pick one word from each category. They chose sports for entertainment, twitter for social media, and the internet for accessibility.

Their next task was to use these words to create a possible solution/service. They talked about it needing to be competitive and to be able to talk with friends. Ultimately the prompt was too abstract and they were never able to loosen up enough to throw out full ideas on what kind of business/service/solution they were creating. Regardless the information we got from them helped us when we sat down to formulate a solution.

Solution Formulation

Our solution was hard to come by. With all our data and interviews we had to sort though and isolate what was and was not important. Since we were hitting mental blocks left and right, we changed tactics and went for a brainstorming map.

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In the sense making map we addressed the core concept of, connecting youth to resources, then explored how we could integrate communication, positive competition, and entertainment.

This lead us to several ideas, but the one that stuck out the most was an incentive based mentoring program, that gave the students the knowledge, resources and connections to start their own business. It would function as a level up system, where by going to events, completing online courses, and helping with other people’s entrepreneurial projects to gain bonuses. For example maybe going to a professional talk could get you enough points to gain level 10. At level 10 you, could apply for a one day job shadow with participating companies and see what it’s like to running a business you might be interested in.

We still have a lot of flushing out to do but we plan to tackle this on Monday.

In other news…

Our group finally managed to gain access to a high school, specifically Warren Central High School, thanks to the help of Pam, Janet Banks, and Richard Spencer. We unfortunately could not get them for our phase 2 envisioning sessions, but we will be able to have some awesome prototype and testing sessions with them over the next few weeks.

We met with Janet, Richard, Pam, and two students Destini Ross and Johana Cruz, about what we think we would like to work with them on. After a nice discussion about what we have been doing and plan to do, we got a tour of some of the facilities we would have access to during our sessions with the kids. Got to say, we were impressed, they had some really interesting spaces and technologically advanced setups.

To gain awareness for the event we created a flyer for Richard to distribute, as he saw fit, to gain a wide variety of participants. We were aiming for 20 interested students. But later that day Mr. Spencer informed us that we already had 45+ kids wanting to participate. Which is absolutely incredible. We haven’t even distributed the flyer.

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Free Pizza 😀

Oh, Snap!

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This week Herron Creative finally got to get some input from some high schoolers. Jake and Alexis went to Southport High School and grabbed roughly 30 students to participate in a graffiti wall. The base question for the graffiti wall was “What sites do you guys see yourselves visiting frequently and why?” After seeing what students wrote, the general consensus was that high school students wanted three things from the digital world.

1. Fast information
2. Something entertaining
3. Social media

After gaining this valuable knowledge, our design group is still discussing the fine details on how to start forming our solution. The hope is to get high schoolers involved in helping us form the solution since, in the end, is for them.

As a side note we have also created a Snapchat account for Herron Creative. We created flyers as a tool to reach out and get followers. We have reached 46 followers in less than a week from that awesome Mr. Bean flyer. Maybe this can end up being an outlet to get high schoolers involved in helping us form our solutions.

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“This white board is heavy.”

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So phase II has left most of us feeling somewhat stuck. After thinking about our context more in depth, we realized that what we are focusing on might need to be a little more narrowed in. We did some word-smithing to our problem statement and ended up with something that has to do with the kids engagement to our solution. So with this decided we knew we needed to start talking to student and have them generate ideas. Our next method was a mobile organized mini session in which we were targeting students negative learning experiences and how they would create a more positive learning experience in regards to their bad ones. As they were narrating their experiences, we had a white board with us to visualize what they were saying.

After we had gathered all of the information we made it back to the studio for sense-making. We created a venn diagram and recorded all of the positives and negatives between all of the groups responses and connections between there opinions. There were multiple areas of overlap but something that all groups had in common was that they enjoy receiving information digitally. So after all this was finished we now have a better understanding of what doesn’t work with learning experiences and how we can use that to our benefit.

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Ideation Brainstorming

How might we provide juniors and seniors in high school with the resources necessary to start a business?

Brainstorming

To start Phase II we brainstormed different ideas of what our solutions could look like. Through this brainstorming we were able to cess out potential solutions while simultaneously identifying additional areas we need to further clarify.

For our next method we are going to conduct expert interviews with entrepreneurs and the ombudsman at the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Questions for entrepreneurs:

  • Education level?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How long have you been pursuing your business goals? been interested?
  • If you had access to a program that taught basic entrepreneurial skills do you think your business would be more successful? or would have been successful faster?
  • What motivates you?
  • If you were talking to a younger version of yourself what advice would you give?
    • How would you distribute that advice to HS students?
  • To what do you owe your success?
  • What ideas do you have about helping juniors and seniors in high school gain the resources necessary to start a business?

Questions for OSBE Ombudsman:

  • How long have you been in this position?
  • What is the question you’ve been asked the most concerning starting a new business?
  • What do you wish people knew regarding starting a business?
  • What ideas do you have about helping juniors and seniors in high school gain the resources necessary to start a business?