Changemaker Challenge Part 1

Become a changemaker! Solve a problem for someone you know through invention.

Note: Sessions #4 & #5 will help your mentee create a unique invention that they will share in the final showcase session.


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Session Details

Invention: Changemaker Challenge

Theme: Empathy, Engineering Design Process

Time: 2 hrs

Goals for Changemaker Challenge Session #4

  1. Brainstorm ideas for an invention that will help solve a problem for someone

  2. Choose a direction to work towards

  3. Explore interactions with different Bits

  4. Create a sketch of the invention idea

*In session #5, your mentee will build off of the work from session #4

Materials:

  • Mentors will need to bring a connected device (phone, ipad, or computer) to access instructional videos.

  • Snap The Gap STEM Kit

  • Paper & Pens, Pencils, and/or Markers

Quick Resources:

 

Meet Up

10 min

PAIR OFF & CATCH UP

Discuss what your mentee explored on JAM.com since last session. What topics did they find interesting and why? Did they participate in any challenges.If possible, take a look together.

 

Inspire

10 min

INSPIRE

For the final showcase, your mentee will create an invention that solves a problem for someone. Here are a few examples of how others have approached this challenge using littleBits:

Medicine Machine: This medicine machine dispenses water, medicine, and helps track how much you take.

 

Javer Glass (Improved Google Glass): Jerich Lee, 11, noticed that his dad was frustrated by not being able to turn off the head-up display on his Google Glass. Jerich designed a new and improved version of Google Glass, called Javer Glass, that has a heads-up display that can rotate out of the way when not in use. His design also includes a bonus feature: an LED light to help navigate through the dark and read in bed!

 

Social Cat: Each year 1.5 million cats are euthanized.  Max set out to change this with his invention, SocialCat.  The goal of SocialCat to make cats more social, more friendly, increase their chances for adoption, and help reduce the number of cats that are euthanized every year. One of the main reasons a cat doesn't get adopted is because it is scared of humans and not friendly. SocialCat helps socialize cats by playing calming human voices and soothing music when a cat eats. The cat learns to associate human voices with the positive experience of eating.

 

Sense-o-Scope: For many people, especially people on the autism spectrum, bright lights and loud noises can be overwhelming. The Sense-o-Scope lights up when its user's surroundings are getting too noisy or too bright. This signal can help people remember to get out of a chaotic environment and find a place to calm down.

 
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More Inspiration:

A blinker system for bicycles

littleBits powered Recycling Bin

Prosthetic Arm

 

DISCUSS/CAREERS:

  • What are some inventions that you use everyday that you couldn’t live without? What problems do they solve?

    • Before these inventions came to life, they were just ideas.

    • People saw problems in the world around them and they created potential solutions first through brainstorming and prototyping their ideas, and then by testing and improving upon their creations to make sure it worked.

    • This is a the job of a product designer or engineer.

  • In the changemaker challenge, you’re going to take what you’ve learned so far and think like a product designer and engineer to invent something that helps someone else.


Invent!

60 min

CHALLENGE: Become a changemaker! Solve a problem for someone you know through invention.

Goals for Today’s Session:

  1. Brainstorm ideas for an invention that will help solve a problem for someone

  2. Choose a direction to work towards

  3. Explore interactions with different Bits

  4. Create a sketch of the invention idea


1. Brainstorming

  • Create a list of ideas for an invention

    • Start by thinking of someone you know (parent, neighbor, teacher, friend) and reflect on what their frustrations or difficulties are.

    • For example, a neighbor that is hard of hearing might need a way to know if someone is knocking at their door.

    • Come up with 3-5 ideas and write them down. No idea is a bad idea!

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2. Choose an Idea

  • After making a list of 3–5 ideas, choose the issue that you want to work on for now. It could be the idea that sounds the most fun to solve, or creates the biggest difference in someone else’s life.

  • You can always come back to the other ideas later.

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3. Explore your Bits and Materials

  • Look through you Bits and think about how each one could help. Could motion, light, or sound help you achieve your mission?

    • Test out different Bit combinations to see you can achieve the interactions you want.

    • Use the Snap The Gap STEM Kit Bit Index for more info about each Bit.

  • Think about other materials available to you that might be helpful? Are there everyday objects you could make better with Bits? For example, if you wanted to design an invention that makes doing chores more fun, you could start with a broom.

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4. Sketch Out Your Idea

Make a sketch of your idea on paper

  • Describe the #1 goal for the invention

  • How does it work?

  • What qualities are important for the invention to have?

  • Label what Bits and materials you plan to use

  • What do you want your invention to look like?

    *SAVE THIS SKETCH FOR REFERENCE IN THE NEXT SESSION

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5. Make a plan for your prototype

  • Discuss with your mentee if there are any special materials they want to use for their invention.

  • Make a plan to bring these materials for next session. Perhaps you can divide and conquer - you can bring a few things and so can your mentee.

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Reflect

10 Min

DISCUSS WITH YOUR MENTEE

  • What do engineers and designers do?

  • How do they figure out what to make?

 

Group Share

[Optional]

10 Min

MENTEES SHARE

  • Mentees show their sketch with the group and share the following:

    • Who will your invention help? What problem will it solve for them?

    • What Bits and materials do you plan to use?

    • What do you want your invention to look like?

 

Wrap Up

5 Min

CLEAN UP

  • Place all Bits back in the box.

  • Check with your site coordinator about storing your mentee’s prototype next week before the showcase.

  • Store the sketch in the box or make sure to bring it next time!

 

Next Steps

5 min

SUPER IMPORTANT HOMEWORK

  • Discuss with your mentee if there are any special materials they want to use for their final invention. Make a plan to bring these materials for next session. Perhaps you can divide and conquer - you can bring a few things and so can your mentee.

  • Coming up in the next session:

    • Create a prototype

    • Test your prototype

    • Iterate and make updates to the invention

    • Prep for Showcase

 

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THANK YOU!