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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:

1/25/19 · Assignment: Project Summary
Joann Girnius · The Greek Gods
?!!
1/24/19 · Assignment: Peer Review/High 5 a Design Team
Annabelle Auguste · The Smarties, Triple Threat
Good job keep up the good work :)
1/25/19 · Assignment: Take 2: Prototype Iteration
Icyss Brokenbrough · The Futures
We worked on this a little bit when DT philly came to our school. We were thinking about our school and how it could help. You are askjing a lot of good questions. We can't wait to see it when you present. Oh, have you looked at other schools to see other railings??? bye.
1/11/19 · Assignment: Lessons Learned
Joann Girnius · The Greek Gods
i wish you all great luck you guys
1/24/19 · Assignment: See for Yourself
Lawrence Pinkney · The Blue Bongos
It wasnt that hard to where two people had to do it put you guys got it done.
1/23/19 · Assignment: Rapid Prototypes
Kahlil Connelly · The Futures
Your design looks amazing!
1/24/19 · Assignment: Design Concept Sketches
Jayla Stone · JJRK
would the shoes be uncomfortable and were would you get the shoes and what if the students don't were the shoes
1/25/19 · Assignment: Sky-High Spaghetti
Joe L. · The Cheetahs
you did a god job with tape but you should have had other stick on the side for balance
1/25/19 · Assignment: Sky-High Spaghetti
Joann Girnius · The Greek Gods
it's okay you worked hard and that's what matters great job:)
1/23/19 · Assignment: Discovery Chart
Phil Squire · The Futures
Wow, ya'll did very great keep up the good work

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
10Congratulations on finding all of the resources in the scavenger hunt. Our feedback, the notices, the playbook, and the videos are all designed to help you in your project work, so don't forget to check them throughout DT Philly!
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
12We agree -- those terrible designs would definitely not be fun to use! Now, we'd like you to apply this type of thinking to your own design problem. Sometimes thinking in different ways about familiar problems can open your mind to new ideas and approaches.. Try to think of some terrible ways to solve your team's problem--ways that would make the problem worse instead of better--and let us know what they are to earn another 8 points on this assignment. Then flip that thinking around and see if it gives you any new ideas!
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
10Reaching out for help when you need it is a good thing to do, but we would also encourage you to do your own drawings. You don't have to be great artists to share ideas visually, and it's a great skill to use and practice--one that we think is important, so we include it in DT Philly! Will you prototype and test these two ideas on separate handrails to see if one works better or is more appealing than the other? And will you use actual grip tape and wood to test your ideas, or do you have other materials around you can use to quickly prototype and test these concepts before you bolt something to the wall? We're excited to see what you do next!
Dec 21
10
10Nice job using everyday materials to create your first-round prototypes! They do a good job communicating the thought process behind your ideas. Have you started thinking about how you can make these ideas real enough to test? It will be fun to see what you learn by bringing your prototypes to life and seeing how they work in the real world. Remember, they don't have to be permanent installations...just realistic enough to see how they affect people's behavior, whether anything unexpected happens, and whether they help you see even better ways to achieve your goals. Keep up the good work!
Jan 11
20
20Thanks for taking the time to reflect on how the designers of these items went the extra step for their users. Taking the time to put a little extra care and thought into your designs can make the experience of using those designs so much better. We like that you're thinking of ways to involve students in the design of the railing guards so you can create a sense of shared ownership and respect. Is there anyone in particular you'd want to get involved? And focusing on the ease of using your design is always a great idea. Can you think of some creative ways to make the tape solution easy to use for the people who have to maintain it, but not easy to vandalize? What are some creative ways you could try to make sure that the tape stays in good condition? Keep up the good work!
Jan 4
Jan 4
Thanks for taking the time to try out this product! When you go about designing a solution, you can come up with great many ideas that work well in your head. However, as you saw in this activity, unexpected problems can come up when you put your design into action. What are some ways your team will prepare for testing your designs? Can you think of any problems that could possibly come up? Unlike this bottle topper design, you want YOUR solutions to be easy to understand and use, and you want them to solve a problem without introducing new problems.
Jan 4
10
10Nice job thinking through the best way to test your prototypes! Will you be testing both ideas on the same day in two different stairwells? Or will you test one concept out first and try the other on a different day? We can't wait to hear what your team learn!
Jan 11
10
10Wow--your team learned so much during testing, and we're glad you had fun doing it! Were you surprised by any responses you observed? Durability seems like something that is important to your project, since you don't want to have to keep going back everyday to make sure everything is still in place. Can you think of any ways you could make your foam cover idea more durable? Did any students talk to you or ask you questions about your designs? Seeing what people's reactions are--even people who aren't doing the sliding--can give you insights that help your design process. How will you iterate (which means change and improve) your designs for the next test? Your railing is very interesting...it looks like there is a second hand rail (the one you're trying to keep people off) mounted on the original rail. From the pictures you sent, it also looks like the board prototype is almost the same height as the original rail. If that's the case, could you foresee (or did you observe) any potential problems?
Jan 18
10
10Nice work! You're asking good questions, making good observations, and using what you learn to refine your ideas. Re-testing is an important part of this process as it helps you understand how your changes impact students' behavior and the experience of everyone who uses the stairwell. The color you added is not only fun but it also calls attention to your design, potentially alerting students to the fact that they can no longer slide on the rails before they even try it. Having students design the rail guards sounds like another fun idea. Do all of the stairwells in your school have railings like the one where you're testing your designs, or do some have different types of railings? Keep up the good work!
Jan 25
20
20Thanks for taking the time to look at some other teams' work and giving them helpful feedback. Knowing how to give feedback and receive feedback are important skills to develop. You can learn a lot from seeing how other people approach problems and work through them, just as you can learn a lot from seeing how people outside your team understand your work. Keep sharing your own work and supporting your fellow design thinkers on other teams!
Jan 25
We hope your team had a fun time looking at some of these design outtakes for the IronPigs baseball team! Sharing ideas you briefly considered but rejected--including silly ideas--gives people a behind-the-scenes look at your design process, which helps them better understand what you've accomplished. We love the idea of showing your initial cardboard prototype. Prototypes are supposed to evolve over time, so sharing how your's did will help the audience see the thought that went into your project and demonstrate the progress you've made.
Jan 28
10
10Thank you for submitting your essay, implementation plan and budget! We appreciate all of the hard work your team has put into to this project, and we hope you've enjoyed the experience.. We look forward to hearing you tell the story of your project at the Showcase!
Feb 4
10
10
Feb 4
20
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!