You are here

Red Knights

About Us

We are five students from Southern Middle School in Reading, PA. Our team has four 7th graders and one 6th grader. Our team loves sports and food!!!!

Recent comments on our work:

11/9/18 · Assignment: Our Design Challenge
Anayeli Vargas · MetriX, NASA
Wow! That's a huge problem, hope you guys get that railing fixed!
11/15/18 · Assignment: Our Design Challenge
Alanna Figueroa · Delavietie
That is so dangerous! Someone could fall. Are their safety codes that are being broken?

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Sep 21
Congratulations on cracking the case! It might have been easier to pick the lock, but hopefully it was more fun to solve the mystery. You finished quickly--you must have worked well as a team. Remember to show the same persistence, creativity, and teamwork throughout your DT Philly project.
Sep 21
Sep 21
10
10Welcome to DT Philly! We're excited to have you join us this year, and we hope you have a good time learning about design thinking and how you can use it to solve problems or make things better.
Sep 21
Sep 24
1
Sep 28
10
10Nice job--you make some excellent points about the stairs and the escalator. It's interesting that you focused on different features that were important to each of you in a phone case. As you can see, people aren't all the same--they have different preferences and needs. This is why you will want to learn a lot about the people you are designing for once you choose a topic for your DT Philly project--understanding their needs will help you make important decisions in your design work.
Oct 19
20
20Thanks for having us out to do this activity--we had fun learning new things and working with you. Keep up your creative thinking as you work on your own project!
Oct 5
Oct 5
Thanks for taking a walk in Jamal's shoes to understand how life is more complicated for people with dyslexia. Can you imagine feeling this confused on a regular basis? 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. Remember this, and think about how you could empathize with the people you're designing for in your DT Philly project.
Oct 5
10
15Wow--this looks like a very important problem to address. We'll be interested to see what comes up during your research about why this problem exists and what contributes to it! Your design challenge question is right on target in the way you describe the problem and the goal without jumping ahead to the solution. Nice work! And thank you for including pictures!
Oct 12
10
10You identified a lot of important things in your rich picture, and you made a great observation that this problem, including seeing that things are broken and don't get fixed quickly, could contribute to more bad behavior and more things being broken. Did this damage happen in the month or so since school started? There are so many things you can learn about as part of your research--we can't wait to see what you come up with about how and why these problems occur, and what the current process is for dealing with them.
Nov 2
20
Oct 19
Oct 19
Oct 19
10
10Your early research findings are quite interesting...maybe you haven't spoken to students yet, but right now it sounds like teachers have more problems with the broken railings than students. We didn't notice any broken railings in the stairs we used when we visited your school...does this only happen in particular stairwells, or did we miss something? It would be interesting to find out if anyone knows exactly how the railings were broken and why they haven't been fixed yet. Your observation about the walls being plaster is also interesting...does that make them harder to repair? Or easier to damage? Maybe a special repair crew has to come from outside the school, and that slows down the repair process? We're excited to see what else you learn during your research!
Nov 2
10
10Good work! You learned some interesting things that help you better define your problem and focus your work. Did you look into the repair process at all? That might will be an interesting path to explore--not that you have to be responsible for fixing things yourselves, but knowing how the system works for reporting problems and fixing things could help you learn ways to make things better. It's also a great insight that almost all students feel it's not o.k. to break school property. Maybe in your brainstorming phase you can find a way to use that information to make things better.
Nov 9
10
6Congratulations on finding all of the resources in the scavenger hunt. Don't forget to check these things--our feedback, the notices, the playbook, and the videos as you work on your project. And use the Designer Directory to get expert advice on your design process! We know the Designer Directory was down for a little bit this morning, but when you have a few minutes, go look through the directory and find someone you'd like us to send your question to. Let us know who that is so we can send off your question and award you 4 more points for this activity.
Dec 7
20
Nov 16
Nov 16
Thank you for sharing your creative drawings! Mr. Reinhard makes an excellent point, and one that is worth remembering--looking at things from a different perspective or a new angle can inspire new thinking. It's also interesting how ideas can build on each other....one shape becomes a cereal bowl, and the shape next to it becomes something related--a carton of milk. Using one idea to spark another, and being able to look at things from different points of view are great skills to use when you are trying to solve a problem, because they will help you come up with creative new solutions!
Nov 16
10
10It sounds like you learned some interesting things and have some good insights to use for brainstorming ways to make things better. Did you learn any more about the circumstances under which the actual damage occurred? For example, was it just repeated wear and tear? Did a single student misbehaving while alone in the stairwell cause the damage? Is this only in one stairwell or all stairwells? If it's only in one or two, what is different that makes those stairwells more likely to be damaged? Knowing these things could provide some additional insights for brainstorming! Also your feedback from Mr. Schneider gives you something new to check out...why is there a secondary handrail on those stairs in your picture?
Nov 30
10
10Thank you for sharing your brainstorming with us. You've done a nice job creating specific insights and coming up with ideas around them. It sounds like you've decided to focus on preventing copycats and future damage. Does that mean the damage you showed us at the start of the year been repaired? (We hope so!) We encourage you to prototype a few ideas so you can test different concepts and see what works best. And don't forget to use what you learned from research to help you with your prototypes...for example, the designer you contacted--Eric Schneider--made some interesting observations about the construction of the broken railings.
Dec 21
20
Dec 7
Dec 7
Thank you for these great pictures showing your team at different steps in the building process! Building is a great way to experiment with different ideas to see what works best--remember this when you start prototyping for your DT Philly project. As you build, you will learn new things and see ways to make adjustments to your model. If you could do the spaghetti tower again, is there something you would do differently?
Dec 14
10
Dec 21
10
Jan 11
20
Jan 4
Jan 4
Jan 4
10
Jan 11
10
Jan 18
10
Jan 25
20
Jan 25
Jan 25
10
Feb 4
10
Feb 4
20

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 creating the iconic design of the elegant, tear-drop shaped Kikkoman soy sauce bottle.  Mr. Ekuan, an award-winning designer who also worked on the Yamaha YA-1 and the Komachi Bullet Train, 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 share 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 the story you want to tell?  Devlin, who has designed sets for Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Rihanna, as well as for fashion shows, plays, operas, and ballets, considers both the spirit of the performance and the experience that the audience will share.  What will bring your story to life and help you connect with your audience?

Collaborator Badge 1 of 4

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

Puzzle Progress 4 of 6