How did the project “roll out”? This project was so much fun to do and such an incredible learning experience. When I started this project I was so happy to actually get the opportunity to put my learning into action and benefit ourselves and our earth. But I was also very nervous about what we would build or what we would do for our campus. This project, Starting with the 11th hour, a breathtaking documentary about the harm we are causing our planet, shed some light on the terrible things humans are doing to our planet every day. But also helped me realize the fact that there are countless ways to live sustainably and help out our earth.
Field Trips We then took field trips to learn more about sustainable living, I went to Kristina Munroe’s Earthship and a strawbale and tiny house. First, we went to the Earthship, it was a house that had beaten tire walls and was 100% sustainable. The house was engineered to do things like use greywater to water plants, it had a compost toilet, and had solar heating. The second place we went was a strawbale house, it had straw inside clay walls, and almost everything used in making the house was local. On these field trips, I learned that intelligent design is what really matters in sustainability, if a structure is designed just right it can help the earth and benefit you.
What is sustainable design? Sustainable design is a common phrase that is thought of and interpreted differently by many people. Some say it's a lifestyle, some say its an architectural choice. Sustainable design, to me, is using your given environment to design a functioning structure as intelligently as possible to function and benefit the earth in all ways possible.
Empathy Interviews In the empathy interviews we interviewed individuals within the community we were building for. From these interviews came lists of needs and values. We then took all these needs and values and decided which were the most important to the largest amount of people. And we used the communities needs and values to make HMW (How Might We) statements. These statements encompass what we need and value by saying things like, how might we create a cleaner school environment.
Ideation The next step of the process was ideation, which is the act of rapidly having ideas. We started by quickly jotting down our ideas and sketching them out on little slips of paper. We used the communities needs and values to have several ideas for sustainable on campus projects. We then found which ideas would be the most practical, and what encompasses the communities needs the most out of all our ideas.
Prototyping The next step was prototyping, the act of building a physical model or drawn scale model of something you potentially want to make. We all got into groups based on what we wanted to do after our ideation period. We made posters and prototypes of our Ideas for the campus and put them on display. We then walked around in a gallery of everyones prototypes and decided which ideas we wanted to go through with. We stood next to the prototype we wanted the most and the people standing there with you was your group for the rest of the project.
What 21st-century skill did you grow most in? I grew significantly over the span of this project, the 21st-century skill I improved the most in, however, is adaptability. We were faced with several obstacles and challenges along the way with this project. I had to adapt fast and improvise with what I had. One day I had an injury, we thought about how I could still help and came up with an alternative plan for that day. Instead of me building and my teammate painting, we worked together to build that day. We had to adapt quickly and find a solution to a problem, something that this project taught me how to do far better than I could before.
What 21st-century skill do you need to grow most in? To be my best self as a PBL learner (Project Based Learning learner) I need to have strengths in HOHAM and 21st-century skills. The 21st-century skill I need to improve upon the most to be the best PBL learner I can be is Initiative. I have grown so much this year, especially in initiative, but it is still my biggest struggle and the biggest reason for my poor grades. There were times I caught myself walking around aimlessly or taking a break too soon if I didn't have a clear task set out for myself. I learned that there should always be a task at hand.
What was a time you solved a problem in this project? In any project, there are going to be certain unexpected problems and obstacles. What makes a good PBL learner is being able to think critically and solve these problems. A time that we adapted and solved a problem during this project was the day that we went to get drills from the makerspace so we could build our project. When we got there, however, all the drills had already been taken. So we decided to paint the part we had done so far, we found paint and paintbrushes and painted that day. We adapted and changed our plan when we were faced with a problem. What was a time you couldn’t solve a problem in this project? Running into problems is expected with any project, how you deal with them is what helps show how good of a PBL learner you are. An instance during this project when I couldn't solve a problem was when we were screwing two wooden pieces together and couldn't find any screws long enough. We tried going from the side at an angle but the wood split. We couldn't solve the problem when we had no materials.
What would success in this project look like for you both when you started and now that you’re finished? Success to me when this project started in contrast to when it ended I was an interesting shift in thought for me. Success to me when I started this project would've looked like just building a single functional structure. I surpassed that and built a few structures and painted them. Success for me now will look like seeing people using the projects we made all over the school. The goal is to benefit the community as well as the earth, so once I see people using our new on campus structures, I will have succeeded. What advice would you give a student starting this project? This project was so beneficial and fun, but also very hard. If I could give any piece of advice to a student beginning this project, it would be to manage your time well. In this project you need every bit of time you have, so decide to do something you love and focus on finishing it. Don't just walk around aimlessly, just work for all the time you have, or you might be disappointed in what you create.