Sep 30, 2011
Wednesday, I spent time with 8th grade girls at East Lake Academy for Fine Arts. I was their guest professional for their class. East Lake has partnered with Girls Inc. to run a program called Build IT. This program helps young girls increase their understanding of technology and design. Hopefully, armed with more knowledge about these topics, young girls are able to view the fields of technology and design as career path options.
I was asked to talk with the girls about my career path. I was also asked to engage with the class about the design process, iteration, and new users. The class was in process of designing a “hangout room.” I was asked to create an activity that they could participate in and that would support their design process. The activity needed to include the concept of meeting the needs of a “new user” into the design of their room.
For an activity, we worked on creating personas for people that might actually use the hangout room. The activity is based on this InterACT curriculum project.
Eighth grade girls can be very honest and can say things without a filter. In many ways, this isn’t much different from college students. Although, Wednesday was the first time that I can remember a student saying, “you look scary.” I was pretty excited and I bet I was channeling my inner Rock which can be pretty intense.
I thought that these 8th grade girls would be the toughest audience and class that I would engage with this year. However, they were a great group of learners. They asked a lot of wonderful questions. They were really engaged. Their completed personas were solid.
I am fortunate to have had these young ladies allow me to be a part of their lives and afford me the opportunity to learn so much from them.