Blue Sky

My General Ideas

To begin, I individually spent 45 minutes sketching ideas for the general theme challenge. Here are some of ideas I came up with:

New Warm-Up Game

To start getting things flowing, I hosted a new warm-up game. I called it Physical Attention Catch. Similar to a game I learned at HUGE Improv Theater, this game required careful attention and memory. This game had everyone stand in a circle so that everyone was included. There were three balls: a small brown football, a green soccer ball, and an even smaller blue football. Things started by passing around the small brown football. When you throw it, you say, “it’s the pass.” When you catch, you say, “touchdown.” This continued for a little while until things were comfortable, and the we added the green soccer ball. For this, you throw it will a lob and say, “cherry” while the catcher says, “bomb.” Again, these two were thrown around until things were comfortable. Finally the last even smaller blue football was thrown into the mix. When you throw it, you say, “mini” and catch and say, “tini weenie.” All balls were to be continuously passed around until a reasonable amount of time has passed.

Session Organization

Left to right: Alex, Jake T, Cole, and Jake W

The brainstorming session took place on a Sunday afternoon in the apartment of four roommates: Alex, Jake T, Cole, and Jake W. Alex is a mechanical engineering student in his last year of undergraduate studies, Jake T is a junior in biomedical engineering, Cole is a junior in mechanical engineering, and Jake W is a junior in computer science. Each of these students belong to the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. Though this group is heavy in technological experiences, each is in a different major or year of schooling, giving each a different perspective of their education.

To get things started, we played a round of Physical Attention Catch as described from above. Overall, things went very smoothly with the first and second ball; however, the third ball really slowed things down. With having only 5 participating people, it was difficult to gain the attention of another person before throwing the ball. But even with this, this was still a great warm up to get us in a different and less serious mood before moving along to brainstorming. The total amount of time passed for this warm-up game was around 5 minutes.

Immediately following this warm up game, we progressed into a 25 minute brainstorming session. As an incentive to continue, Hershey’s Dark Chocolates were shared among all of the guys. And at the end, they were rewarded with the regular Milk Chocolates. Each was given the prompt ahead of time, and then I shared some of my example ideas. After this, each person was given a stack of note cards and a highlighter to identify which ideas were theirs (Alex- Orange, Jake T- Yellow, Cole- Green, Jake W- Blue, and me-Black).

Prior to the session start, I explained how each card was to be marked and how every idea needed a sketch and a title. I also instructed how each notecard needed to be presented to everyone else before adding it to the middle of the group. This took place around the kitchen counter so that everyone would need to face each other when sharing the ideas. The beginning of this session was slow moving. There were a lot of concerns for writing down an idea that already existed, and I had to work to encourage positive thinking and idea generation. After this, ideas began to flow, well until another wall was hit. When production slowed again, I instructed everyone to write down a theme onto a notecard, and then these notecards were shuffled and distributed to each person. They were then instructed to come up with snacking ideas related to these topics. The topics distributed included: superheroes, movies, sports, superman, and Xbox. Once again, ideas flowed until another wall was hit. With this, I instructed everyone to try and create the worst snacking ideas. Ideas began to flow again, and things really progressed until the conclusion of the 25 minute period.

At the conclusion, there were a total of 51 ideas generated. With a total time of 25 minutes, the average rate of idea generation was about 2 ideas per minute.

Sorting and Voting

Once all the ideas were generated, these ideas were then sorted into related categories. The titles for these categories were: shapes, build/make, launching weapons, non-launching weapons, flavors, puzzles, stencils, and storage container. Once these were all sorted, each person was given three paperclips that could be assigned to any idea to be listed as their favorite. This was used to distinguish the most popular ideas for kids and snacking. Here are the outcomes of this activity:

Launching Weapons
Non-Launching Weapons
Storage Container

In summary, these are the most voted ideas:

Controller Condom- 3

Standing Action Crackers- 2

Mustache Crackers- 2

Pretzel Logs- 2

Changeable Waffle Pattern- 2

Chemistry Candy- 1

Maze Snack Box- 1

Pop-Top- 1

Pretella- 1

1st Session Top Ideas

Credit- Trevor
Credit- Cole
Credit- Trevor
Credit- Cole and Jake T
Credit- Cole
Credit- Trevor
Credit- Alex
Credit- Trevor
Credit- Trevor
Credit- Trevor

How Might We…

Problem Statement: children need hands on learning experiences with snacking because snacks can be directly related into lessons and educational experiences.

How might we relate learning to snacking?

My HMW Ideas

I spent 30 minutes writing down ideas based on the How Might We (HMW) statement from above. Here are the results:

Session Results

After the how might we statement was constructed, I took the idea generations to a new group. The people involved were Mike, a history major, Joanna, a marketing major, Conor, a mechanical engineering major, and Elliot, another mechanical engineering major.

Mike and Jo in front, Elliot in back

Once presented with the how might we statement, each individual was asked to write down 12 individual and nominal ideas. After this, pairs of two were asked to present and pick the top 8 ideas out of their pair. These ideas were then rewritten to have only 3–8 words each. With these formatted cards, each group was asked to place similar ideas under categories labeled as generic characters (=, +, %, X, O,#). Once all ideas were sorted and finalized, labeled titles replaced these characters and the final outcome was achieved. Here is a picture of the results:

Blue-Mike, Green-Joanna, Orange-Elliot, Yellow-Conor

The names of all of the resulting titles were: Play Pieces, Solve to Open, Inside Info, Questions, Character Figure Head, and Educational Information.

2nd Session Top Ideas

Credit- Elliot
Credit- Trevor
Credit- Trevor
Credit- Mike
Credit- Trevor