Day 02 - Smarter Public Safety (Middle School)

Our group started to look at “Smarter Public Safety” by looking through the lens of improving safety in schools.

We began by analyzing four different tables and graphs that presented information about crime and bullying throughout the US.   Each group got to look at and make observations about each of the tables/graphs to find our information about safety in schools.  Some of the observations students made were:

  • Girls are bullied more often than boys.
  • Across all grade levels, most bullying occurs in the hallway or stairwell where there is less teacher observation.
  • Small crimes happen more after at school than outside of school.
  • Large violent crimes happen more often outside of school than at school.
  • Theft happens A LOT more often at school than outside of school.

Students then got in groups to define a problem about school safety that they wanted to attempt to solve.  Students defined more specific topics like creating a safer schedule, creating a better security protocol for people entering schools, and creating safer ways for students to store their expensive items at school.

As we were delving into designing prototypes, time flew by and it was already time for our IBM field trips.

The field trips to the Command Center and the Green Data Center were a great side trip from the creative process.  The Command Center is where IBM keeps track of all the systems that it monitors.  When we entered, we were in a small, unimpressive conference room.  When they flipped the switch, the “fogged” windows cleared and we could see all the monitors and giant screens that IBM uses.

The Green Data Center came next.  It wasn’t green in color, but was “green” because of how they designed it to be energy efficient.  Ken talked to us about how the entire room was transformed to meet IBM’s current needs which are totally different than they were 10-15 years ago.  The center can hold 8 petabytes of data which is enough to hold every second lifetime of HD video.  The energy saving aspect of how the place is kept cool was amazing. There are times when they can turn off all 3 of the air conditioners and just use Colorado’s frigid winter weather to cool the entire center.

Tomorrow we will finish our school safety design projects and begin to look at ways to create smarter safety in transportation.