Day 04 - Smarter Public Safety (Middle School)

Public Safety began our day by finishing our prototypes from the previous day.  They tried to solve many of the common problems we face in transportation.  New designs so that people can “text and drive” verbally, cars that can drive drunk drivers home, and new systems for airbags that can support kids better were all prototypes that were created.  Before they shared and got feedback, Officer Craig Earhart came in to give a presentation.

Craig is the Public Safety Officer for the city of Longmont, which made him a great presenter for our group.  He showed us tables on crime in Longmont, how the “beat” system is set up, and also talked a little about traffic and school safety.  He gave us a great basis for all four of our design challenges.  One of the interesting facts from him is that 85% of the crime in Longmont is committed by 5% of the criminals.

When he finished, kids were excited for today’s design challenge of “Designing a way to help police prevent or predict crime.”

Having let the kids choose their own groups for the first 2 challenges, I decided it was time for some new groups.  Today they worked with a random partner and really did fantastic.  Students started coming up with ideas of how police could prevent and predict crime.  There seemed to be a large “Hunger Games influence,” but some good ideas were definitely put on the table.  Kids grappled with ideas like what are the most dangerous weapons, how do we deal with that 5% of criminals who are committing most of the crimes, and how can police predict what’s going to happen.

Students had about a half hour to begin prototyping which was useful, but again not enough time.  They will be finishing up the prototypes in the morning tomorrow.  Hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow, students will be comfortable with the design process so that they can create their own design challenges next week.

Tomorrow’s Secret Password: Tripad