Creating an Interactive Educational Experience for i2 Learning
STEM goes full-time
i2 Learning is an organization that aims to expose 4th through 8th grade children to hands-on STEM learning and experiences. Moving from facilitating summer programs to running these programs during the school year required new materials for students to access in the classroom. The material had to be interactive and showcase both the scientific method and engineering design process.
an attractive material
After researching common classroom materials, DBC found that almost all dry erase boards are also magnetic--a perfect manipulative surface for students to engage with that is already found in most classrooms. Magnets became the ideal material on which to illustrate the processes, as they could easily be moved, written on, and exhibited scientific principles themselves. The magnets feature designs of each process in an educational, fun, and easily understandable way.
kid-friendly scientific principles
The magnets were aimed toward use by students aged 5-12. In order to cater to this age group, DBC focused on vibrant and energetic designs to act as a visual spark to initially interest the children. The scientific method materials utilize bright blue, pink, and yellow to entice younger children, while the engineering design process colors are darker, which is more inviting to older students.
making the scientific method and engineering process stick
The design strategy for both the scientific method and engineering design process was conceived to reflect the background of each. The scientific method magnets employ a more organic approach, utilizing hand-drawn illustrations to signify the process's place in natural sciences, while the engineering process magnets rely on more structured lines and shapes to connect the images to the process's technological and industrial environment. Individual magnets depict a unique step in each process and include a white space where students can identify them.
reusable and nonpermanent
DBC sourced magnets with a dry erase finish, an added benefit that enables the magnets to be reused. Students are able to iterate their ideas over and over, while teachers are able to distribute them to students for years to come. This creates value for i2, as they don't have to repurchase the sets for some time. Over 1,000 sets are being delivered to schools around the Northeast for this upcoming school year.