Projects, Computers, and Norms
We discussed the two major projects we will be doing this semester (see the syllabus for details) and re-established computer logins. We also came up with classroom norms. The guiding principle is that this class is a model for a professional workplace. Treat this class like a job. Your co-workers depend on your contribution to the team. Your boss expects your full and undivided attention. Your clients rely on you coming up with innovative solutions. If you live up to those expectations, you will be given more independence and autonomy that you have ever had in school.
No make up work required.
Kickstarter pitch analysis - part 1
The Conrad Challenge requires a video pitch of an innovative solution to a big real world problem. Before we innovate, we took a long hard look at some of the best pitches on the crowd funding website Kickstarter. Groups of 2 looked at a variety of Kickstarter video pitches through the lens of an advertising account manager. What is the structure of a good video pitch? What about the way it was designed and produced made it personal and compelling? What elements do you want to be sure to include in your pitch when the time comes? Each group presented their favorite pitch and analyzed it from this perspective. It is important not to be distracted by the product itself. Stand back and look at how effective the pitch was at making you want to buy the product. Figure out exactly what they did that was (or wasn't) working.
Make up work: watch at least 3 Kickstarter pitches for different products. Choose one to analyze. Find at least 3 things done well and describe exactly what you found effective (so that you would feel confident doing as well in your video). Also, describe how you would have changed something to make it more compelling.
Science Literature Selection
We reviewed ten non-fiction books and each student chose one to read as part of a literary circle of 4 students. Each Friday for the next 10 weeks, each book circle will discuss the reading assignment for that week. Each group member prepares by completing a worksheet for one of 4 roles. The available books to choose from included
- A Mind for Numbers
- Arrival of the Fittest*
- An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
- At the Edge of Uncertainty
- Elon Musk*
- Guns, Germs, and Steel
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
- The Perfect Theory
- The Wright Brothers
- This Explains Everything
Revenge of the Electric Car
We watched a documentary on the recent development of current generation electric cars followed by small group discussions about some aspect of the film.
Make up work: Watch the NOVA episode "Car of the Future" and respond in writing to the following prompts:
- What did you learn about the automotive industry that surprised you? Why were you surprised?
- What should the role of government be in the development of new car technologies?
- List the various fuels that are being considered for the car of the future. Which one do you think is the most promising? Why?
- Why is the gasoline powered car a poor long term transportation solution for the future?
Kickstarter pitch analysis - Continued
No makeup work required.