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How can we instill math and science skills in elementary school students?

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Zachary Azrael

1. In the last week, we finished conducting stakeholder interviews and read through them all, extracting common trends that will helped us when we choose experiments to conduct during our STEM Fair this upcoming week.
2. In the upcoming week, we will interview our student stakeholders during our STEM Fair to determine their interest in the presented activities and see if the experiments we chose were enjoyable for them.
3. An obstacle impeding us from accomplishing our tasks is timing. Our STEM Fair will take place while students from Cooper Lane Elementary School are on campus from 2:00-4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 13th with College Mentors for Kids. This timing conflicts with many of our members’ classes and many people are not able to attend. We are compensating for this lack of volunteers by having our members take shifts between 2:00-4:00 so we are covered at all times. In addition, mentors from College Mentors for Kids will be volunteering as well.
4. This week our biggest decision is determining how to gauge the success of our upcoming STEM Fair. If we can gauge student interest in our experiments, then hopefully we can learn how to more effectively engage students in STEM inside and outside of the classroom.
5. A high point of the week was completing and analyzing all of our stakeholder interviews, providing us with a full set of useful information. A low point of the week was realizing that the time of our STEM Fair would be an issue for many of our members.

2 years ago ·

Allison Chen - Hey Zach, thanks for the update! Sorry for the late response, I was out sick.

Congraulations on analyzing your interviews and running the STEM Fair this week! I hope the STEM Fair went well despite the conflicting schedules. It sounds like you were able to work out a solution with the shifts. Good luck finishing the video! We are looking forward to seeing how your project went and meeting the team through the video! :D

2 years ago

Zachary Ginsberg

1. In the last week, we finished up all stakeholder interviews, focusing heavily on teachers and administrators. We also clustered the interviews and began looking for trends in terms of what the students want most.
2. In the next week, we will continue to analyze our stakeholders’ responses to identify any trends and come up with a solid, tangible idea to give these students what they truly want. Along with our findings, we will use “how can we” statements to further our brainstorming of possible solutions.
3. A lack of student data is definitely a challenge. Being that students from PG County were on break all last week, we have yet to complete any student interviews, forcing us to rely on teachers and mentors to find out what the students truly want.
4. To date, the biggest decision we have to make is to determine what the trends are based on our interviews. We need to first determine what the kids want before we can effectively determine next steps.
5. One of the high points of this week was drawing the stakeholder interviewing process to a close. A low point of this past week was our inability to conduct student interviews because Prince George’s County Schools were on their spring break.

2 years ago ·

Allison Chen - Thanks for the update!

It sounds like you're making great progress synthesizing the data from your stakeholder interviews, great job!

If you're lacking student data due to school break, you could try some other tactics to reach users. Perhaps see if anyone in DFA has younger siblings or if professors have children that are open to talk. Are any professors having a play date at their house that you could visit? Consider reaching out to kids not only through the school but through parents as well by finding mailing lists and other online groups to reach them. Or even go to a children's museum and talk to the kids there (with permission from their parents of course). Also consider online research tactics like watching videos of kids talking about what they like, which is not ideal but could give you a general idea of what kids are interested in.

The main thing to keep in mind is to keep moving forward, so whether you try other user recruitment tactics or you continue to interview students while simultaneously brainstorming, keep that forward momentum. You can always reevaluate your ideas or test your prototypes with students when you are able to reach them, so I highly encourage you to start having some brainstorming sessions!

Good luck!

2 years ago

Abigail Waters joined the project

2 years ago ·

Elizabeth Gillum joined the project

2 years ago ·

Zachary Ginsberg

1. In the last week, we continued conducting interviews with stakeholders such as teachers, administrators, and mentors of elementary school students. We have begun analyzing this data to further our knowledge of what the kids in our region have and what they still need.

2. By the middle of next week, we will have concluded our informational interviews and will move on to analyzing the data we have collected.

3. Students in PG County are on spring break all week. This will prevent us from collecting the data we need directly from the students. We will have to delay student interviews for another week.

4. We are in the process of aggregating large amounts of data and the biggest decision we are making right now is deciding what data is important and what will help further us in our project.

5. A high point of the week was when we conducted five interviews in one day. We got interviews from two teachers and three mentors of students. A low point would have to be from the beginning of the week when we sent out emails to possible interviewees and no one responded promptly.

2 years ago ·

Allison Chen - Thanks for the update Zachary!

Congrats on conducting stakeholder interviews, this data will be very helpful moving forward. As you synthesize the data, clustering your findings to uncover trends will help you realize insights. This a fairly simple process of writing out all your findings on post-it notes (one objective idea/quote/observation per note) and then clustering them based on similarities you discover.

While you are waiting to interview students, you can further synthesize your data from stakeholder interviews by creating some preliminary How Can We statements and measures of success. Remember, How Can We statements focus your brainstorming by asking a goal-oriented question, "How can we user + behavior + place?" Measures of success are end results that indicate if you made an impact in user's lives.

You're doing a great job with user research! Remember to keep moving forward toward tangible solutions, it can be easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis. Once you have enough information to work with from interviewing students you can really dive into brainstorming and low-fi prototyping.

Good luck this week!

2 years ago

Manav Parikh joined the project

2 years ago ·

Harrison Kraus joined the project

2 years ago ·

Sam Weingord joined the project

2 years ago ·

Danielle Firer joined the project

2 years ago ·

Zachary Ginsberg joined the project

2 years ago ·

Masha Khmelniker joined the project

2 years ago ·

Zachary Azrael

1. Throughout spring break, we conducted interviews with our stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and administrators, in order to figure out what we should include in the curriculum we are developing so it will most effectively meet the needs of the students we are serving.
2. In the next week, we will conduct interviews with students and volunteers, and continue interviewing our other stakeholders. This will give us a more diverse data set that allows for us to account for a variety of potential benefits that our curriculum can offer those it is intended to help.
3. This past week was spring break and many of our members were traveling/busy, so now many students need to catch up on their work. This may reduce the amount of time that our members can dedicate to interviewing potential stakeholders in the upcoming week.
4. The largest decisions we are making this week revolve around delegating tasks. We are in the process of deciding which members can take a leadership role on the interviewing team and which members can most effectively interview any given group of stakeholders.
5. The high point of this past week was when one of our members has a lead on an interview with a recently retired administrator who currently works on the local Board of Education. The low point of this week was inability to communicate with some of our members due to their travel schedules.

2 years ago ·

Allison Chen - It's great that you have already conducted informational interviews regarding curriculum, these will drive the content of your design. The interviews you will conduct with students and volunteers will drive the user experience. Awesome user recruitment!

Check out these resources for conducting user interviews:
- https://loft.io/guide/dfa/design/immerse/conduct-interviews-and-observations/ />- https://whitneyhess.com/blog/2010/07/07/my-best-advice-for-conducting-user-interviews/ />
Looking forward, make sure to document your interviews well so that you can synthesize your findings and reframe your problem!

One thing that may help delegate tasks is asking people to assess their strengths and weaknesses, as well as evaluate their own goals for learning and growth through DFA.

Coordinating while people are on break and traveling is understandably difficult. What communication platforms are you using? Slack is a pretty easy way to update people whether you're traveling or sitting at a desk.

I'll give feedback on the other update in the other project page. Good luck, and looking forward to your updates next week!

2 years ago

Jonathan Kalman

1. What did we accomplish in the last week?
2. What will we accomplish in the next week?
3. What obstacles are impeding us from accomplishing our tasks?
4. What are the big decisions we are making right now?
5. What was a high point and a low point of the week?

2 years ago ·

Andrew Hamroff joined the project

2 years ago ·

Zachary Azrael joined the project

2 years ago ·

Allison Chen joined the project

2 years ago ·

Jonathan Kalman joined the project

2 years ago ·

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