MFA THESIS

Playing with Firebrands

Playing with Firebrands is a suite of interactions with the purpose of empowering students in public education.

 
 
 
 
 

The Problem

Our education system isn't designed for what students want to learn. As a result, many students graduate without a clear sense of their passions or purpose.

 
 
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Curriculum is top-down, and in the US, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are pushed by a government agenda. Students have very little say in how they're going to spend the typical 12+ years of their lives in school. The result is that many students leave education without a clear path for what they want to do, and more critically, who they want to become. How might we challenge the traditional model for public education to encourage and develop impassioned students?

 

 
 
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Research Summary

Progressive Education believes education should accommodate the holistic needs of a child - including physical, emotional, and developmental. However, these practices are often limited to privatized education. The objective is to bring some of the best practices of progressive education to a larger audience.

 

 
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Students need a balance of structure and freedom. They benefit when there are key goals, milestones, and objectives, but also have freedom to explore and ask their own questions within the context of the framework.
— Don Buckley, Tools at Schools
 
 
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Design Interventions

Here are a few projects tacking education from different lenses, from cultural perspectives to hands-on learning:

 
 
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UX Design

Cue + A

A platform for student-driven lessons and content, both inside and outside the classroom.

 
 
 

Experience design | workshop

Center of Attention

A multi-disciplinary workshop connecting basic physics principles to handstands.

 

 

UX Design

Inquiztr

A search engine plug-in encouraging questioning over answers.

 
 
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Thesis Presentation

sva theater, may 2017

 
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More Details

 

The thesis process included secondary research, 30+ expert interviews, 100+ sketches, and a lot of prototyping.

 
 
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