Last Thursday, 05/12, we hosted our first event, during a ‘Mechatronics Engineering Week’ in Brazil.
It was definitely a very nice experience to bring LittleBits to undergrad students. I work mostly with children/teenagers from 10 to 15 years old and use LittleBits a lot during the classes (Maker Programs), but being a Mechatronic Engineer, I was sure that the students from the university would like the experience.
We did a Design Challenge with focus on the Innovation Process (such as Design Thinking). The goal was to share with the students what Innovation is and which are the processes that innovators implement nowadays to create innovative devices, services and solutions.
So, we presented the main idea behind Innovation and the Double Diamond Design Process. From that, the groups were asked to create a solution for an everyday problem they face in their dormitories, using technology.
The first step was to brainstorm problems they face every day. From that, they choose a problem to solve and started to brainstorm ideas on how to create a hardware to solve that.
Once the group defined the solution, it was Prototyping Time!
LittleBits kits and craft materials were provided:
The idea behind a prototype that is generated from the Design Process is to be as simple as possible, in order to show how the system works, without having to care much about precision, good looking or being 100% complete.
There were three groups and three different ideas were generated. After 2 hours of prototyping, they came up with nice prototypes!
One of the solutions is presented on the picture above. It’s a High noise alarm, which will call your attention with a buzzer, LED and waving flag in case you are making too much noise and bothering the others.
This was a 4h workshop and we had some nice learnings:
- The Design Process as a tool to create innovation, along with the creation of simple ‘works like prototypes’ was a very nice approach to Engineering Students;
- This approach is very close to Engineering as a whole. So we could establish a good connection between what the student’s daily life at the university looks like and what LittleBits can offer;
- Craft materials are the best for quickly prototyping solutions
- An open challenge (in terms of what would be created), together with brainstorming sessions for the design process ended up making this event very dynamic and rich in terms of ideas (both in number and quality)
- The Sharing step is essential to fully complete this Making Cycle.
Hosting this event was very exciting for me, specially for creating a very interesting connection between Engineering Students and LittleBits. I feel that much more can still be explored!