STEMconnector Salutes Connected Storm Sanctuary Design Thinking Mission

Recently UScellular™ and JASON Learning teamed up for an innovative STEM learning experience called, Connected Storm Sanctuary Design Thinking Mission. For this unique contest, middle and high school students reimagined solutions and made prototypes using mobile technologies to create a better storm sanctuary for families to seek connection, communication, and safety during and after a natural disaster.

The students used “design thinking” strategies to create solutions for the future to achieve the best possible outcome for the end user, who could be a person, an organization, or even a community. Design thinking draws on logic, imagination, and intuition, as well as knowledge and reasoning, to explore, design and test possible solutions.

The two schools participating were from Tulsa and Chicago. The students were given a framework for creating their idea of a storm sanctuary based on technology, connecting with the community, and teamwork. They were briefed on the different types of towers wireless companies use for connectivity and the possible devastation caused by storms as well as action plans and recovery methods for services.

The students received feedback following their presentations.

Team Scooby and Shaggy focused on an above-ground shelter with underground housing for the homeless community. It would provide cellphones to connect to the medical team and have a shuttle between both facilities.

Team Titanic had a similar sanctuary concept providing housing for 200 people and having an underground tram-rail system to other locations with a communication app to connect and find displaced families.

Team Wall Climbers emphasized the need to help the community after a storm or disaster by using body sensors and a medical robot. This action would bring healthcare to the area versus moving the patient to the hospital. The devices and robot would connect using cellular service and the internet and with the person’s medical records.

Team Roses were the fashion-forward and wearable technology group. They use bracelets, rings, and earrings to capture essential health and emergency information. It would auto-connect with an app on a cellphone or work as a standalone.

All students received a certificate noting their achievement and tremendous real-life problem-solving skills.

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