Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Moulding Tomorrow's Leaders

Young Designers Workshop (09/06/2010)

We held a workshop for teenagers on the 9th of June, 2010. The workshop was led by Carlos and the theme was ‘the power of ideas’. The main area we addressed was mobility in the modern world. We had 25 children, accompanied by 5 teachers/guides (1 from each institution). It was a mixed bunch of students as we had students from the CBSE & ICSE backgrounds, students from international schools as well as students from the SSLC background. These students were 15-20 years old. The schools that participated were:
1.    Mallya Aditi International School
2.    Resurrection High school
3.    Orchard Public School
4.    Stonehill International School
5.    Career Kraft (an organization with students from various institutions)
6.    Delhi Public School (South)

It was a fun day with lots of activity and model-building. The workshop started at 9:30 am with an introductory session and a welcome note from Carlos. We knew that if we had too many lectures or presentations, the kids would get bored easily, so we tried a different approach. We let the kids talk and work with each other. Soon after the introductory session, we paired them up and asked them to interpret each other (we asked them to draw, paste or write whatever could be used to best describe their partner). We provided them with chart paper, sketch pens, crayons, cut-outs from magazines, glue, scissors, post-its and plasticine. We told them to go wild with their imagination and to interpret their partners in whatever way they wanted. Some of the kids drew caricatures, some used plasticine and some wrote down all their partner’s favorite TV shows. In the end, all the interpretations were unique. After this, they were given maps of Bangalore. The task was to map their partner's traveling patterns on a weekly basis (taking into account their mode of transport, the money spent and their destinations).

As soon as the kids were done with these activities, we broke for lunch. We had a McDonald's lunch. There were Burgers, fries, Chicken McNuggets and some other tasty snacks for everyone to munch on. Carlos instructed everyone not to throw away their paper plates and cups, but to collect them and bring them in to the Think Tank (the room in which the workshop was conducted). This was to tell them about recycling and the dangers that the earth is facing due to waste and improper disposal of material. Immediately after that we had a small paper plane competition to see who could make the best paper plane. Darshan from Orchard Public School won. His paper plane was no match for anyone else. The final session was the most fun session of the day. The kids were given raw material like cereal boxes, wood, paint, tape etc. They were split into groups of 4 and 5 and their task was to create an alternative mode of transport (using their imaginations and having no restrictions).

The results were:
1.    The Sardar Express: A teleporter that can teleport people across continents in an instant.
2.    The Flying Bug: It functions as a normal car, but when in traffic, the car’s doors become wings and it flies.
3.    A bus that runs on solar energy during the day and uses water as fuel during the night.
4.    A car that is magnetically levitated.
5.    The Kick-Ass car: It has huge wheels that can navigate potholes, has a GPS system to avoid congested roads and is powered by solar energy and battery power.

All their concepts were amazing. Some of them told us that when they were older, they would make working models of these machines. Before we ended the day, we took them on a tour of Idiom. Most of them were fascinated by the way we work. Some of them joined us in a game of table tennis. They interacted with the employees and learned a little on what each department does. The day ended with Carlos giving the final lecture at around 6 in the evening. We asked some of the kids to tell us what they thought of the workshop, and here’s what they had to say –

“I think today’s workshop was very interesting. The part I liked most was the tour of the working station upstairs. I had a chance to see the working environment in design companies.
I especially enjoyed modeling our awesome ‘Sardar Express’. It gave us a chance to add a little bit of humor to our creative abilities. Had a great time :) thank you.” – Spandhana Sridhar (MAIS).

“Amazing! The workshop was bursting with energy. In two words, it was- creativity unleashed.
Love the office space at Idiom. It would be great to have more workshops like these :). “ – Joshitha Thimmaiah (Christ University/Career Kraft)

“It is a very good initiative. I hope there are more initiatives like this. Absolute fun with learning. This is the best workshop I’ve attended. Please invite us for another one. Thanks a lot, it was a great experience” – Ashwin S. K (DPS-south)

Overall, we were happy with the result of this workshop. Our aim was to SPREAD the message that you don’t only have to become a doctor, lawyer or engineer, there are tons of options out there. In design alone the possibilities are endless. We started the day with a bunch of quiet, shy children (not the environment we encourage at Idiom), but by 5 in the evening the office was like a noisy classroom. This workshop was free of cost. Our aim was to spread Design knowledge and knowledge of Design. This one was a success and we’re sure the next one will be even better.

Posted by Rahul.

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