Last week we presented a design challenge to the students of Marysville Early College High School. Every year The Hub, as well as various other companies from the community, team up with Marysville ECHS  to present a design challenge to the students. After the presentation the students elected which challenge they would like to participate in, 33 students chose our project! Their goal is to create educational targets to be used with a custom foam dart launcher used for participants in our program. This targets will aid in the teaching basic academics of kindergarten thru third grade.. Bonus points are added if there is a mechanic and or electronic component added to the target. The students have until mid December to work on their project. A big thank you goes out to the school for electing us as one of their candidates for another year!

Marysville Early College High School uses a design cycle to teach their students how to handle challenges that may come their way. The school website states “The ECHS Design Cycle is a systematic way to approach any problem or challenge. Students are taught and encouraged to work to Identify the problem or challenge and also identify any questions they have. When students are ready, they enter the Plan phase of the design cycle. Students are taught to dive into the problem through research, imagine and dream of what they could do, and then create a plan moving forward. This is the first opportunity for students to see the cyclicality of the design cycle. Students may need to go back to investigate when planning. After the plan is in place, students move into the Create phase. Here, students build or experiment with their plans. They continue to ask questions and try to improve. Students are pushed to understand that the first model is not the best model. They move through this phase cyclically as well until the “final” model is ready to present. Presentation of the final design happens in the Communication phase of the cycle. Here students can communicate their ideas in many different ways. The design cycle applies to design challenges but also any problem, project, performance task, or question given in class.”

This challenge was created to empower students to use their problem solving skills and think outside of the box. In the end, its not about what they create. Its about utilizing the materials and skills they have to help themselves and their peers throughout their life. For the students that elected our project, we hope to give them a glimpse inside the special needs world and show them how they can make a difference simply by being involved. The more we empower these kids to take initiative and be the change they wish to see, the sooner we will see a drastic improvement in our society.

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