Testing the Prototype

Youth Challenge Incubation Phase 1, Week 5

During the week of Valentine’s Day, we took a short break from meeting as a cohort. This extra time gave the Challenge winners the opportunity to test their prototyped solutions in their communities as they prepare for the big leagues: Testing Phase.

These trial runs gave the cohort the chance to observe how their solutions were received by their participants and to get direct feedback through surveys and conversations.

Olivia Anderson, Break the Cycle teammate, spoke with us about their prototype testing experience:

Can you tell me a little bit about the structure of your event?

We began with an open discussion about healthy and non-healthy relationships, followed by a movement activity, led by Ann Law, about the concepts of action and reaction in relationships. Afterwards, our participants created their own short, choreographed dances about positive and negative relationships to present to the group.

We took a break, served them food, and then sat together for a poetic dance performance by a young couple about self-empowerment. Our last activity was an art project where they decorated their own box of positive relationship concepts and ideas to save for reference in the future. We ended the evening with an invitation to stay for Jazz in the lounge at Barking Legs Theater.

What surprised you?

All of the kids were exceptionally engaged. They had great energy, we had full participation in all the activities, and their responses to both the discussion and the dances were very thoughtful.

One of the participants holding her craft

Was there a particular highlight for you?

One of my favorite parts of the evening was when 2 boys were presenting their dance. They created a rhythm piece using their sticks to demonstrate teamwork and communication. It was really fun, but also a really lovely interpretation that no one expected.

What are some of your key takeaways?

Time management will be absolutely essential for our program. We had a lot that we wanted to do, and though we were able to fit it all in, it definitely seemed rushed as we neared the end. The discussion and movement elements were very well received; however, we will probably drop the art project since the group didn’t really like it or respond to it in the way that we hoped. Overall it was a really positive experience and we look forward to fine-tuning our program for the testing phase!

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