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Lightning Bolts

About Us

The Lightning Bolts team is made up of seven 5th grade bolts of lightning.  We are called the Lightning Bolts becaue we are intelligent and generous.  Our team is very helpful, and we all have our own secret powers.  We like school, animals, drawing, and games.  If we could solve any problem it would be stopping violence and stopping littering. 

Recent comments on our work:

2/11/16 · Assignment: In Their Shoes
Savannah Goral · Disston Storm
Good Job!

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Jan 16
Nice work! You might use some of these kinds of design in your own project at Disston!
Jan 27
1It's nice to meet you and to see that you have returning students from last year's team...your experience will come in handy as you pursue a new project this year!
Jan 27
1You have a lot of excellent observers on your team--we love how many different things you noticed from the pictures. It's important for designers to have good observation skills!
Nice job! Did you consider building a system or object to help you solve the problem?
Jan 16
I know we had to rush through this activity, but the important thing to remember is that good designers put themselves in other people's shoes to better understand the problem they are trying to address! So, if you're going to work on a problem like the condition of the school bathrooms, you need to consider the problem from the perspective of different kinds of students (those who do what they're supposed to as well as those who don't care if they make a mess) as well as from the perspective of the staff members who take care of the bathrooms.
Feb 3
1This sounds like an important project! And it sounds like you have a couple of different problems to work on here...making sure bathrooms always have supplies and are in good working order could almost be a separate project from getting students to behave more responsibly. Are there systems that could be put in place to report and track supply and repair issues? On the behavior side, are there ways to identify and target a solution to the students who cause the most problems? Why do students make such a mess in the bathroom? Understanding why people do what they do can help you design a solution.
Feb 10
1This sounds like a good research plan. You have a lot of people to talk to, so jump right in and get started learning as much as you can about what people do, why they do it, and how things work like restocking the bathrooms. It might also be interesting to know if anyone's gone to or worked at a school where they didn't have these problems with the bathrooms. Are there ideas you can get or lessons you can learn from other places?
Jan 16
You're very observant--which is a great skill for designers to have!
Feb 17 sounds like you learned a lot from observing the conditions in the restrooms. Were you also able to observe any student behavior, or did you talk to the custodians about what they see and anything they may have tried to improve the situation? The more you understand about your problem and the people who experience it or are involved with it, the better off you'll be when you start working on your solution ideas. Keep up the good work!
Feb 24
1It's a little hard to read what you have here, but we hope you learned a lot and developed some good insights from your research!
Jan 16
We hope you had fun with this activity and that it helped you rev up your creativity for your brainstorming!
Mar 3
1Great ideas! Do you have any thoughts about who will do these things and how to keep it going over time? Did you consider ways to try to reduce the behavior that makes the bathrooms messy and in disrepair, or will it be the responsibility of a few people to take care of the space for everyone?
Jan 16
Mar 10
1It looks like lighting is an important piece of your design idea. Does any part of your design idea address the trash problem you described earlier in your project? Professional designers label their drawings to explain different features of their ideas. You might want to try this in your future design work!
Mar 17
1These look like public service postings--I like how the art reflects the message. Did you put some in the boys room and the girls room? And how did people react?
Jan 16
That is a fun idea to test how well your classmates are staying focused on their work! Did you think of any ideas about how you could conduct an "extreme" text of your ideas to improve the bathrooms?
Mar 24
1The picture is a bit fuzzy so we can't quite see what you wrote. We're curious to hear what prototypes you tested and what you learned!
Jan 16
That's a nice looking badge! Is there a design team you would like to award it to?
Mar 31
Mar 31


The Design Thinker

An intrepid explorer with a treasure chest of strategies and tools, able to tackle problems large and small.


Kamkwamba Badge

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi in a village that was suffering from drought.  At the age of 14, he read a book called Using Energy and was inspired to do something to help solve a problem in his village.  Using pieces of scrap metal he found in the junkyard, he built a windmill which generated electricity.  That, in turn, made it possible to operate a water pump.  His creativity and hard work made him an inspiration all around the world, and he went on to write a children's book about his experience called The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Empathizer

A perceptive observer and listener,  able to understand what other people think and feel.


Born Badge

Eight-year old Lily Born noticed that her grandfather, who had a disease that made his hands shaky, often knocked over his cup and spilled what he was drinking.  Lily wanted to help her grandfather, so she came up with idea she called the Kangaroo Cup, a three-legged cup that didn't tip over and was comfortable to hold and use.  Lily experimented with the cup for many years, and now you can buy her invention online.

The Definer

A curious collaborator, able to ask great questions and driven to dig deep to find the root of a problem.


Silver Badge

Professor Josh Silver wanted to help people in poor countries who need glasses but can't get them.  In order to help, he had to do a lot of research and understand all the reasons it was hard for people to get glasses.  One thing he learned was that there aren't enough eye doctors in some parts of the world to figure out prescriptions for everyone who needs glasses, so he decided to design a pair of self-adjusting eyeglasses.  Once a person with bad vision gets these glasses, they put them on, play with the dials until they can clearly, and then they're good to go—no trip to the doctor required!

The Ideator

A bold and hardworking thinker, able to imagine lots of new ways to solve tricky problems.


Uncharted Play Badge

While visiting her cousin in Nigeria, 17-year-old Jessica Matthews noticed that the electricity would go out several times a day.  Later, as a student at Harvard University, Jessica and three classmates came up with an idea to design an energy-generating soccer ball for a school project.  The Soccket, as they named it, harnesses the kinetic energy generated by kicking the ball around and stores the energy in a battery that can power an LED light.  Matthews went on to start a company called Uncharted Play, which also makes an energy-capturing jump rope called Pulse.  

The Prototyper

An inventive builder, able to transform ideas into real objects or experiences with his own two hands.



Adidas has developed technology that allows them to turn the plastic trash that litters the ocean into thread, which they used to create a new running shoe called Parley.  The shoe is designed with an ocean green wave pattern.  The design team made many prototypes of this shoe in order to get the plastic material flexible and durable enough for everyday use.  One big challenge was getting rid of the dead fish smell that came with some of the recycled plastic that was once used for fishing nets.

The Tester

An open-minded experimenter, able to use what she sees and hears to make solutions even better.


Hövding Badge

Two designers in Sweden have invented an "invisible" bike helmet.  It looks a lot like a scarf that a cyclist wears around his or her neck.  If a rider gets into an accident, the helmet inflates to protect the person's head and neck.  The designers spent a lot of time testing their ideas by simulating icy roads and other common bike-crash situations to make sure their invisible helmet only inflates during a real crash and not during a bumpy ride.

The Presenter

A confident storyteller, able to clearly describe and explain what she wants people to understand.