When we started the innovator project, we were given a document with many different project topics to give us some ideas for our projects, although in the end we could choose any project as long as we cleared it with the freestyle staff. A certain project caught my eye. On this document, under Mr. Florendo’s list of suggestions was the project idea of 3D printing. I had heard of 3D printing and always thought it was a really cool concept. Being able to design something and produce it right before your eyes. I thought I would use this project idea as my innovator project, but as we continued through the process I really wasn’t sure what I would do with the idea of 3D printing. I started to think about the uses of 3D printing and about how I could incorporate a researchable topic with this idea, because in English there always has to be a research paper attached to any major project. I had always wanted to learn more about recycling, so I started researching that topic to see how I could incorporate the idea of 3D printing with it. I started looking at recyclable products that had many uses, such as boxes that could later be used as balls to play with for kids in impoverished areas. I thought that maybe I could design and create a product with many uses with the help of a 3D printer. I ran this idea by someone, but they helped me realise that access to a 3D printer was something I didn’t have, so I scrapped my idea and tried to search for something else. I had already started my research of recycling so I decided to stick with this topic, but I had to think of a new project idea. In the end I decided to create an infographic about recycling and how it helps the environment. I wanted to show the benefits of recycling in a way that was interesting and that was visually clear and thought an infographic was the perfect way to do this.
The research process of the innovator project was a huge part of making the project a success. Through the research I learned many facts about recycling that were very surprising. These were the facts that I included in my infographic to make the project interesting. The research was how I learned about my topic and was able to understand what was so wrong with the waste in the United States and how recycling could really help. I learned that research really is a huge part of any successful project.
I collaborated with Jiale and Sumukh. While I was working and researching they were usually nearby, they watched as I learned a lot of information about my project topic, and I would often show them the interesting facts or information. As I was working on my physical project, the infographic, I would show them my progress and they would respond with constructive criticism. For example, I showed Sumukh and Jiale my very rough sketch, and they responded with ways I could improve. Sumukh helped me realise that I should add more facts to make it more informational. Jiale told me that I could add more color to make it more interesting. In my opinion there was nothing unsuccessful about the collaboration because it was very helpful. It allowed me to interact with other people, and it also helped me to make my project substantially better.
If I could do this project over again I would give myself a bit more time for actually producing the project. I gave myself a lot of time to research the topic, which did allow me to understand and to grasp my topic, but in the end I didn’t allow myself enough time for including all the information in my final project. I was happy to have learned so much about my topic because it allowed me to learn and grow as a person, but I realistically would have liked to produce something to really show all the stuff I learned.
I think I improved on the skill of Social and Civic Responsibility the most because my whole project basically falls under the definition of this. Social and Civic Responsibility in the Freestyle: 21st Century skills is defined as “the ability to manage technology and govern its use in a way that promotes public good and protects society, the environment, and democratic ideals.” For my project I used technology through using computers, and design software to create an infographic to promote the protection of the environment, through recycling. This really helped me to improve on the skill of Social and Civic responsibility.
Through creating this project I really learned a lot that I will really put to use in the future. I learned that I can actually research, plan, and create a product on my own. I really was able to test and gain confidence in my designing skills. I know we have had other projects in design, but I feel like this one was something closer to something I might actually be doing in the future. So I can take some experience in a self planned design project and a boost in confidence.
This project really allowed me to innovate my learning. Although I had prior experience in design, this project was something very different from anything I had ever done before. This is the first time I had ever tried to design an infographic. The reason an infographic is different from the many projects I had worked on before is because for this project I had to research to find information and find a way to make this information visually interesting. It was tough to find a balance between information and visually pleasing content, but in the end I feel I was successful.
To conclude, I feel that this project allowed me to innovate my learning through being able to create a design product that was something I maybe wasn’t too comfortable with.
Overall, I really value this project for allowing me to expand my knowledge and allowing me to become more comfortable in my design skills. I am really grateful to all the freestyle teachers for allowing me this amazing opportunity.