SERVICE DESIGN

Educational Workshops for Teenagers

Inicio is an organisation that helps teenagers develop tech and 21st century skills through hands on workshops in collaboration with the industry. All the workshops are designed in a way that educate the participants and at the same time sparkle their interest for the tech sector. The length of the workshops varies from 2 hours to several weeks. In all the workshops there are university students serving as mentors for the participants.

Date
Nov 2017 - present
Client
Inicio

Tools & Methods Used

Ideation Workshops

Design Sprint

Prototyping

User Research

Interviews

Surveys

Focus Groups

Personas

Business Model Canvas

Design of new workshops

One of my main contributions at Inicio was the design of new workshops that cover different tech subjects. The goal of the workshops was to educate the participants on different tech subjects (e.g. electronics, UX design, programming, etc) while they develop 21st century skills like collaboration, creativity, flexibility and more. I also created educational material like instruction booklets both for the participants and for the mentors that were helping them.

To develop these workshops I conducted research on different ideation methods, technologies and material (hardware, software, digital content) that could be used. I then developed prototypes of the workshops that were tested with our team of volunteer mentors. After making some improvements to the process and the educational material the workshops were deployed and offered to school classes and other groups of teenagers.

Workshops and educational material I designed: a. Workshop to strengthen problem solving skills, b. Electronics & Programming workshop, c. Content for booklet with theory and instructions for electronics & programming workshop , d. "Design your own app" workshop.
Photo credits a: Yiwen Lu. b, c & d: Kristyn Maguire.

Design Sprints for high school projects

One of the largest scale workshops I designed is a version of the Design Sprint for high schools students to use while working on their last year of high school project (gymnasiearbete). For this worksop the different steps of the Design Sprint had to be adjusted to be usable by high school students. I facilitated some of these workshops and lead the training of university students to serve as facilitators.

Me facilitating a Design Sprint workshop for high school students. Photo credits: Yiwen Lu

Testing and iteration of the service

I used different methods for the improvement of the structure and learning outcomes of the workshops. A big part of the feedback was collected though observation during the workshops and the mentor trainings. Both the participants and the mentors were also asked to give feedback through surveys, interviews and focus groups.

Collecting feedback from workshop participants after workshop. Photo credits: Yiwen Lu

Recruitment and training of mentors

Another main responsibility at Inicio was to recruit and train university students to serve as mentors. The training had a technical focus based on the topic of the upcoming workshops (e.g. how to build a robotic car) as well a "how to be a good mentor" part that promoted leadership and mentoring skills. I served as a mentor in several cases both during the workshops as well as in different occasions for our volunteers.

Mentoring a group of students during an ideation workshop. Photo credits: Yiwen Lu

Impact and value proposition

As a co-founder and a board member of Inicio a lot of my work revolved around how to scale our impact, the business model and how to improve our value proposition. One of our KPIs is the number of participants attending our workshops but we were interested in finding out how much have they actually learned. To find that out we conducted interviews and focus groups and collaborated with a researcher from Stockholm University that attempts to pinpoint when and how does learning occur during our workshops. We also collected feedback for existing clients (tech companies) and other people in the business and tech sector to fine tune our business model and value proposition.