Design heroes a creative challenge


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June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

For those who want their kids to have some fun this summer— while also learning come creative problem solving skills while they’re at it—need look no further as the Regional Business Accelerator (RBA) is holding a pair of camps that have these covered.
The Design Heroes camp offers a fun and creative challenge that helps children learn the thinking process and become creative problem solvers.
“So it’s just creative thinking for children,” said Michael Wirachowski, summer student and program coordinator for the RBA and the event.
“Just an alternate way of looking at everyday problems and it’s free.”
The camp teaches design thinking, a six step process that helps learners adapt to problems and challenges that may come up in everyday life.
According to the camp’s description, design thinking can be applied to everything from coming up with an innovative business plan to developing a unique fashion line.
At the camps, however, these skills will be put to the test with activities a bit more geared to youth.
“We have two challenges right now, like an egg launch challenge, kind of like a catapult to see how far you can launch an egg,” said Wirachowski.
“The other one is sink or float, so designing and creating a raft that’ll hold as much weight as possible.”
The egg launch is for kids eight to 10 and takes place from July 25 to 28, then again Aug. 15 to 18.
The RBA provide severyday household items like garbage bags and popsicle sticks and other craft items for kids to engineer their own catapults.
The sink or float is aimed at kids 11 to 13 and takes place from July 5 to 6, again on July 20 to 21 and one more time on Aug. 2 and 3.
“It’s just a way to think through things a little bit better, there’s a six step process, like design thinking,” Wirachowski said.
“Thinking about your end user, kind of just creatively thinking through everyday challenges.”
The six steps to design thinking are:
1. understand­— learning about the problem
2. Empathize-developing a deeper understanding for the end user. See things from their perspective
3. Define—analyze the data you collected
4. Ideate—generate ideas to solve the problem or challenge
5. Prototype— construct or a design based from your best ideas
6.Test—put your prototype to the test
“It’s creative design thinking, we have people in the RBA that are trained in it and we kind of just want to hold it for the kids this summer,” said Wirachowski. 
“It’s at Lakeland College in both Lloydminster and Vermilion and we’re also doing some in Cold Lake and Bonneyville.”

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