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Ben's Electrons

About Us

Ben's Electrons are from Benjamin Franklin High School's (BFHS) Computer-Aided Drafting & Design (CADD) Class. We are a group of eight students, Mecca, LaShae, Zahirah, Randi, Nasir, Myzay, Tionn, and Fernando. Fernando likes Video Games and hopes to someday bring his designs to user's screens. Tionn enjoys drawing, especially comic book and cartoon characters and hopes to use the Autodesk Maya software package this year. Nasir likes doing things progressive, striving for higher education, working on his personal fitness, and making that money. Randi enjoys helping others, and exhibits those values through her work at a Daycare Center. Randi plays for the Volleyball Team. LaShae likes hanging out with her friends, and grabbing a slice of pizza pie. She values the friendships she has build with others. Myzay spends his free time playing interactive sports-themed video games, against friends via WiFi. Zahirah enjoys a good book, babysitting the children of family, friends and neighbors, and helps her grandmother with her errands. Zahirah is going to play for our Girls' Basketball team. Mecca works at Burger King, but is actively pursuing other opportunities. She enjoys music, and is on the Cheerleading Squad.

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Sep 21
Congratulations on solving the mystery! What was the hardest part? The teamwork, creativity, and persistence you used here will come in handy throughout your DT Philly project.
Sep 21
Sep 21
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15Welcome to DT Philly! It sounds like you have a wonderfully diverse team--all of those different skills, interests, and perspectives will help you in your project. We hope you enjoy learning about design thinking and how you can use it to solve a problem or make something new or better, and we look forward to the great work you'll do. Thank you for the great photos and the detailed information, and for taking the time to make your bonus video.
Sep 21
Sep 24
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1Wow--we didn't have these wild googly eyes for our event at Drexel! Your ability to see things in a new light and think creatively will serve you well throughout your DT Philly project! Thanks for making us smile with these fun pictures.
Sep 28
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10NIce work with your drawings and explanations--we love the thought and detail you put into these! People are always trying to improve upon phone case design...this one isn't a parachute, like you designed, but it's a similar idea: https://www.techradar.com/news/this-crazy-case-design-is-like-an-airbag-for-your-smartphone. We hope this activity and talking about the designs on the accompanying cards helped you understand that there is more than one way to achieve the same goal. This is a good thing to keep in mind when you're working on your DT Philly project. Also remember the needs of your audience when you're doing your design project. Their needs and preferences will help you make decisions about what is important to include in your design.
Oct 19
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20Thanks for having us out to do this activity with you. We really enjoyed meeting you and seeing how well you work together and how thoughtful you are in your approach to a problem. You all came up with different and interesting approaches to solving the problem--remember that when you're working on your own project, because there's usually more than one way to achieve a goal!
Oct 5
Oct 5
Thanks for taking some time to understand how life is more complicated for people with dyslexia. How did it make you feel to try to read that text? Did you feel any pressure because it was hard to do it quickly? Understanding how a problem impacts people--the frustrations they have and the things they have to do to deal with the problem--is an important part of design research. Can you imagine how it would feel if everything you had to read looked like the Britton font? Remember this, and think about how you could empathize with the people you're designing for in your DT Philly project!
Oct 5
10
10It looks like you've identified a few years' worth of projects at your school! :) We like that your "how might we" question touches on all the important things. Nicely done! It can be a bit tricky to write a good design challenge question. The project that you picked is important because it affects so many students every day. It's also one that will require you to do top-notch research, and to be collaborative and creative in your approach because there are a lot of rules that affect school lunch. We're excited to see what you'll do with this!
Oct 12
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10You have an ambitious research plan, but that's good because there are a lot of different sides of this to explore. Even if school lunches meet nutritional and calorie standards, things like the lunch schedule, whether students eat breakfast, and what happens when students leave school for the day will all impact student hunger. We can't wait to see what you learn through your research!
Nov 2
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20Wow, you identified a lot of different types of students who have different habits, needs, and preferences when it comes to school lunch. It seems that everyone is unhappy with their food experience in school, but not all in the same way. Do these people do different things in response to the situation? Your persona cards also touch on a wide range of food-related issues, including what we know about nutrition, and our emotional relationship with food. It's probably hard to say just yet if you will address any of these through your project, but it's good to be aware of them. As you work on your project, check back with your personas to see if the solution you're developing would meet the needs of all of these different users.
Oct 19
Oct 19
Good catch! We didn't notice much the first time we watched, and we agree that the video was a lot more fun after you realize what's going on. It's surprisingly easy to miss things that are going on right in front of you. Being astute observers will help you gain insights into your problem and spark new thinking about solutions.
Oct 19
10
10Nice job--you learned some interesting things. Why do you think different lunch periods get different food, and do students miss both meals by choice or for other reasons (would it be helpful to conduct a survey to collect info about what students do and think with regard to eating during the school day)? We visited a school in Philadelphia where the culinary arts students run a cafe...does that happen in your school? Would students pack lunch if they were allowed to bring in outside food? We know you're collecting samples of things from lunch, but if you're not already doing it you might want to take some pictures to document some of the problems you're encountering...like how the food is different from the menu, or how unappetizing it looks. It's true that we eat with our eyes first. Your comment about teachers also made us wonder...what do teachers do for lunch? You're off to a great start with your research--keep learning more!
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Badges

Start-Up: Nike Grind Badge

Congratulations on your creative problem solving—an essential skill for every designer!  Innovations and break-through moments come when you think outside the box, like Nike did when they began recycling worn-out shoes to reduce the company's environmental impact.  The recycled shoes were ground up and used to create springy surfaces for athletic facilities.  For example, Sacramento Kings fans donated their sneakers to be used in constructing the team's new practice court.  Not content to stop there, Nike keeps developing new applications for this innovative product, and recycled material from Nike Grind is now used in 71% of the company's footwear and apparel!

Empathize: Hub of Hope Badge

Thanks for taking a walk in someone else's shoes.  Designers empathize to understand the needs of the people they want to help, just as SEPTA did when they agreed to collaborate with other agencies to serve homeless people where they already congregate...at Suburban Station.  Instead of kicking the homeless out, the agencies worked together to open the Hub of Hope, a site that functions as a daytime living room for homeless individuals, where they can socialize, get a meal, shower, do laundry, and access a variety of health and social services in a safe and welcoming setting.

Define: Embrace Badge

Nice work using your powers of perception!  Good designers keep their eyes and minds open so they don't miss key insights...just as four Stanford students did while creating a low-cost baby incubator for developing countries.  To learn more about the problem, team member Linus Liang traveled to Nepal.  His "aha" moment came when he discovered that hospital incubators often went unused because mothers couldn’t get to, or stay at, the hospital.  The team realized they had to create something that could be used easily and affordably in homes, as well as in hospitals.  The team kept researching and learning throughout their design process to make sure their product met the needs of the people they wanted to help.  Since 2011 their solution—the Embrace Incubator—has helped over 200,000 babies in 20 countries.

Ideate: 40/4 Chair Badge

Way to get creative!  It's not always easy to see things with new eyes, and sometimes ingenious design is hidden right in front of you.  When was the last time you gave any thought to the humble stacking chair?  Designer David Rowland spent 8 years of his own time designing a chair that could be compactly stacked to fit the greatest number of chairs in the smallest amount of space.  He made 32 full-scale models in a quest to achieve the best form and greatest comfort, and he was rejected many times when he tried to license his final design for a chair that could be stacked 40 high at a height of just 4 feet.  But he persisted, and today his 40/4 chair is the winner of numerous awards, is showcased in museums around the world, and is a commercial success.  8 million and counting have been sold since 1964!

Prototype: Kenji Ekuan Badge

Well done!  Prototyping takes patience and persistence, as Kenji Ekuan demonstrated when he and his team spent three years designing the elegant, tear-drop shaped Kikkoman soy sauce bottle.  Mr. Ekuan, an award-winning designer who also worked on the Yamaha VMAX motorcycle and Japan’s bullet trains, is said to have tested over 100 prototypes before finalizing the design of the innovative and dripless two-sided spout—a design which works so well it hasn't been altered since it was introduced in 1961!

Test: MWOBS Badge

Now you know...testing's not just for school!  Designers know it's important to put their prototypes through rigorous real-world tests, which is why people who design products to function in extreme outdoor environments go to the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, where the conditions are equivalent to what you’d encounter in Antarctica and the polar regions!  Clothing, experimental robots, and tents are just a few of the products to test their mettle against the mountain!

DT Philly Showcase: Es Devlin Badge

Hooray—you've made it to the final stage of DT Philly, and it’s time to think about how you’ll tell the story of your design project.  Take a page from the playbook of renowned set designer Es Devlin and consider your presentation from the perspective of the audience.  How will they see, hear, and experience your story?  Devlin, who has designed sets for Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Rihanna, as well as for fashion shows, plays, operas, and ballets, thinks about the spirit of the performance and the experience the audience will share.  How will you bring your story to life and connect with your audience?

Nice work getting the conversation started!  Collaboration is key to the design process!

Collaborator Badge 1 of 4