Elementary, My Dear

Method 2: Overview

As stated last week, our second research method was a graffiti wall with a group of 1st and 5th graders at Pleasant Grove Elementary School. The kids were a blast to work with! Thanks to their help we were able to create an environment where they could have fun and engage with us. We had two stations, one for drawing and one for building with legos. After about five minutes we would switch the two groups, so all the kids got a chance to work with both materials. We promoted them to tell us about what they were creating, using our worksheet that was created earlier in the week for unifying our experiment’s questions. We asked a range of questions that aimed to gage if they were thinking like an entrepreneur at that age, and if so, some baseline ideas on how they processed how businesses worked.

What worked? What didn’t?

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Overall the entire method worked well and we managed to get the information we were looking for. We quickly realized that the first graders were unable to answer some of the questions we were asking them. Many Differences arose from how the two ages approached the main questions, If you could create any object what would it be? The first graders quickly got to work creating many fantastical things. Nash, drew a picture of a zombie, shown above, while another little girl was working with legos to create a magic door. The first graders were not only quick on the draw (heh), but also quick to adapt their creations. They would build without really knowing what it was until it was done, or giving different answers as they continue building. Fifth graders, on the other hand, had a much harder time starting. They needed a specific idea before they could begin.

While the first graders were less afraid of failure and creating whatever came to mind, the fifth grades worked together, communally, much better. One group of fifth grades worked together to create the vehicle shown below. Others talked about what financial and family concerns could stop them from creating a business, with the peers around them. One fifth grader even told us about her own etsy shop where she sold lotion made from goat’s milk (she gets from her families goat farm). The first graders were still struggling with social concepts, such as sharing. One such first grader did not want to let anyone else use his makers when they were drawing. These slight differences were what lead us to ultimately decide that the first graders were to young to target as a possible audience for further research.

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Method Adaptions

Because of the setup of the rooms we used during our graffiti wall method, we had to adapt our initial plans. First the walls were too covered with class work, so we instead had to give each participant their own paper to draw on. This actually made everything work much better for clean up and collecting their drawings. Additionally, an icebreaker game was planned to help the kids warm up to use. This ended up not being needed, because the kids were told that we would be working with us already. Plus, they were just excited to by notion of using legos.

PROs

CONs

Fun for everyone Hard to manage time
Engaging Hard to ask in-depth questions
Comfortable Environment for Kids 1st graders unable to grasp some concepts
Obtained useful information
Helped narrow target demographic
Found unintended insights

Next Week: Method 3

Our third method we plan to delve a little deeper than our previous two methods. We will be doing one on one interviews with high school students. These question will cover what we asked in our first survey, while also challenge the participants to really think about entrepreneurship and if they truly want/not want to start up their own business.

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