This project was an integration of all of our core classes, math, science and humanities, to bring us a real world example of what a future job project could look like. In this project, we were assigned groups based on our personality types that we tested for in the beginning of the year. In these groups we used empathy interviews and observations to make a list of values for the users of our school. During these interviews, we gathered perspective on what people wanted to see in our school and just schools in general. From these interviews I gathered information about how people wanted to see more opportunity and modernization of our school building. Through this, we began to prototype what our ideas would look like. From this, we gathered more intel on what other students and faculty of our school valued, which was more outdoor space and the flow of things. After this we did three more prototypes before All School Exhibition, which is where we showcased our 3D prototype that we spent time creating. We realized during exhibition that we needed to think more logistically about what was actually going to work for our school, and so we began to go down the fun, but long road of budgeting and sustainable resource practices. We began to evolve our idea so it was a school with three wings instead of five. In the middle of our campus, we created a circular commons to prevent congestion of lunchroom traffic and make it so we could have a big space for NEST meetings and other exhibitions. We finished this project by making final posters with all the requirements on photoshop and presented to some of the board members and other students around school. I learned that through human-centered design processes you can create a more sustainable and pleasing environment for a bigger majority of people. When you use human centered design, you become more connected to people and create better relationships with the people you are working with. I learned that using a human-centered design process you create multiple drafts of a project and get feedback on those prototypes. Then we created new prototypes using the values shown through those critiques. This is a crucial way to gain new perspective, if you're trying to create a project that is suppose to please a lot of people. In the interviews that I conducted, something really stood out to me. In my interview with my Grandma, she explained to me about how when she went to highschool (in the 60’s) she learned better in smaller study groups. She said that when there are rows of seats in a classroom, it gives more advantage to some people for listening and participation in class. So we decided to not use rows of chairs. We didn’t even incorporate chairs into our design, instead we had two long tables on either side of an open space in the middle of the classroom, where socratic seminars and class discussions could be held. From this interview we realized that traditional chairs were no good, so we changed it up and used bean bags. This would allow minimal clutter and a calm tone in the room. It is easy to create and design a place that meets the needs of you and maybe your small group of people working on this project but it is key to integrate ideals from others who is this space as well. So we tried to interview a variety of of people. We interviewed teachers, siblings, and professionals who work in the hospitality and construction businesses. I learned that people in different categories (parents, students, faculty, i.e) have a different set of values in place. Students valued friendship and balanced. Teachers valued honesty and communication. Families valued connection and love. And workers value making a difference and responsibility. We created a sheet that showed these values with a little picture to describe the user we were trying to connect to. We chose these values from a sheet with about 50 key values to people. I learned that it is such an important part of the process to make sure that the needs of the users of the school are met. Our group was successful in creating our final product. We worked individually on each of the four major categories of what we needed to complete. In this project I took on the role of the leader in my group. I tried to facilitate so that we would not have too many bumps in the road. If I were to change how I was part of the group, I would make sure everyone was involved in the processes of prototyping and creating the final poste. In this project and others this year, I have noticed that I am super controlling when it comes to stuff that I want to be quality work. When I am in a group, especially things that we are showcasing and/or final work, I have trouble trusting people to do work. I think I have my perspective on things and when other people have other opinions, I have a closed mindset. This is not great for collaboration in a group because it puts everyone at a disposition when making decisions and such. Seen in our prototype for all school exhibition, our 3D model was sort of mainly made by Sierra and I and we could have done better by including our other partners in the process of building the actual prototype. On our poster, again it was mainly Sierra and I who formatted and did final touches to it. I could have looked better and been more of a group effort if we all worked together and communicated on what everyone needed to do. As a group our collaboration skills were not the best and we should have realized this and refined it. When we had to collaborate on things and make decisions, it was hard for us to generate and bounce of each other's ideas. In the long run I think that this really hurt us as a group. We could have come up with such extraordinary ideas if we had the collaboration skills we needed to do so. I believe it is important for students to have a voice in their education. And this project gives perfect opportunity to have a voice about what classrooms and school design will look like. I is important for students to have a say in what they are learning and how they are learning it because it is their education. Why go to school and be told how you have to do something when in the real life the choice is always yours. Learning how to advocate for what is best for yourself makes you a stronger, happier person. At our final presentation for this project, seniors came in to vote for different school designs and components from each one. During this I noticed that they were so excited about the designs and what were had done with our school. (Mainly one of the senior lounges a group had.) But it was so cool to see how much some blueprints and renderings made them excited to see the future of Animas High School.
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