Over the last seven weeks, our Year 10 students have been busy engaging in a Pilot Project for DeLorean. Each Wednesday, students have been taken through a course of action to turn an idea into a project. Essentially the pilot project, in its condensed form, follows our DeLorean Project tagline… THINK, CREATE, SHARE.
The aim of the pilot project is to give our students a taste of what a DeLorean project can look like and to experience as many of the new concepts and skills as possible in a simplified version, and without the pressure of getting stuck on an idea. Following is an outline of what has been involved in the Pilot Project phase for the term.
- Students were aligned with an area of interest from five different problems. Once they chose an area, they then connected with like-minded people to form a team. The problems included:
- Re-creating fashion/art out of used clothing or recyclable material.
- Telling a story through the use of media (digital, written, artwork, sculpture).
- Designing an item to help wildlife following the recent bushfires.
- Designing a therapy tool/option for people with mental health issues, disabilities and learning difficulties.
- Creating a fitness or sporting solution to engage non-active young people.
- Students were introduced to the overall concept of LEAN canvas. This is a business canvas model that many startup businesses use. It’s a simplified version of a business plan, but it asks all the right questions, in the right order and with the view to preserve resources as much as possible and understanding the consumer (ie. not putting the cart before the horse).
- Students, in their teams, had to articulate a more specific problem in the chosen area and conduct market research to understand the potential user or customer. This process in the LEAN canvas is called finding the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and is essential in ensuring the success of the project. If the idea is not supported by potential users or consumers, it doesn’t matter how good the logo, the business name, or the product/service is… people won’t buy it/support it or consume it and resources invested are invariably wasted.
- Following the UVP, the next step in the LEAN canvas is to create a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) or prototype that is useful in explaining/demonstrating/showing the concept to potential users/consumers. This is another important step and again reiterates the conservation of resources. For the students, it was about understanding how they can show their concept in the most minimal form without spending too much time or money in doing so.
- Mixed in with all of these concepts, we have provided the students with engaging activities whereby they have had the opportunity to apply skills and newly acquired understandings. Activities like the Just Dance challenge highlights the differences in personalities and working with a team, the Pirate Hand Challenge gave the students the opportunity to focus on what the consumer wants/needs and what an MVP looks like. These challenges were all fun and engaging and are intentional to reinforce the development and acquisition of three of the four key skills of the program; Self-Awareness, Social-Awareness and Creative Mindset. (Use of technology will come later in Terms 2 – 4).
- The final stage of the Pilot Project is for the teams to pitch their idea to a panel. This is all about communication and building confidence in public speaking, and as you can imagine, is a mammoth task for some students. We encouraged the students to step out of their comfort zones and into their courage zones. Each team had to present a 3-5 minute pitch outlining the problem, the solution, the unique value of their solution and demonstrate a minimal viable product. Standards of preparation varied, as did levels of confidence, but overall, the students delivered and met the brief. The main questions from the panellists were around understanding the consumer and the market and what is the point of difference with the team’s concept/product/service compared to competitors.
The students have impressed the facilitator team with their ideas. Here’s a few of the project names and concepts:
The Messy Baker – gourmet cupcakes and muffins
WAX PAX – a surf wax applicator
Mind Outloud – Podcast for young people by young people addressing issues of mental health
LED Plates – electronic licence plates
Coast Secrets – an online platform to inform young people about the Sunshine Coast tourism highlights
Relight – customised candles in recycled jars/glasses
The Step-by-step Guy – step-by-step tutorials for technology challenged people
Mindcraft – a safe space Minecraft server for young people with mental health challenges
E-GLoves – Taekwondo gloves with electronic sensors to assist with scoring in competitions
Mattsticks – Breeding and sales of Stick Insticks
Socks to Save – socks with a motif of an animal to support an animal conservation charity
A special thank you to our FISH TANK guests who formed three panels to listen to the students and teams pitch their Pilot Project ideas. For 2021 the FISH (friendly, in-couraging, supportive, honest) included GCC staff; Mrs McKee, Mr Heyworth, Mrs Swanson, Mrs Mitchell; our past DeLorean students; Josh Swanson, Angelique Hallett, Shianne McGregor and Tully Brown; and our industry reps; Jenny Broderick, Edwin Mens, Craig Josic and Renee Coman. The calibre of experience and expertise on these panels added so much value to the students learning.
Term 2 is where the students step up to the plate and either turn their Pilot Project into their DeLorean Project for the year, or they abandon their Pilot Project and pursue another idea that they have. Students spend time ideating, finding a team to work with, and focusing on understanding the consumer as part of the solution for their DeLorean project. If you would like to stay up-to-date with the weekly happenings in The DeLorean Project, follow us on Facebook (@deloreanproj).
Tanya Cullen, DeLorean Project Coordinator
GCC families can see all the photos on Pixevety.