Day 05 - Smarter Cities (Middle School)

What an amazing week we have had at IBM!  Our final design challenge was to come up with a way for people to survive during and after a catastrophe such as a natural disaster.  Wes Lowrie from Longmont’s Water Resources came explained to our students about where our water comes from and what back-ups they have in place in case of a disaster such as last fall’s flood occurs.  The kids thought it was cool that we are the first to get access to the water coming from the mountains.

Design teams then choose the following disasters to plan for: floods, wildfire, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and tsunamis.  After some research on the iPads students began their brainstorming for possible solutions.  We spent the most time on their favorite part of the design process – prototyping.  Within that building time, we always take time for feedback sessions.  I am impressed with how all the students have improved their communication skills this week.

The drought group was voted the most innovative with a system that takes saltwater that can be used to help with the drought in California.  Their prototype was able to take out the salt out (which could later be sold) and then transported the fresh water to the people that needed it and was self powered with turbines within the pipes.

Some reflections from the day:

  • I learned that we have water sources all over Longmont.
  • I liked learning about the floods from Mr. Lowrie.
  • I liked that we could really think outside the box.
  • We liked being able to focus on only one disaster for this challenge.
  • I think the most challenging thing about was coming up with an idea that no one else has.
  • We had to combine our brains to think outside the box.
  • We cooperated by all of us making different parts of the prototype and then it all went together.

Thank your kids for a fabulous week!  I am looking forward to some more designing and prototyping next week at Skyline!!