Update on Project Activities
We are a little behind on our goals, as we have not completed the social media research or all the interviews, but we have a plan to get back on track. We were able to go to Menlo Atherton High School and meet with Mr. Powell, and are in the process of setting up a meeting with Ms. Thwaite for Monday. On Monday we also plan to meet for an extended amount of time to begin putting together our deliverables. We look forward to picking up the student survey results from Mr. Powell next week, which will give us more insight as to what students want out of a website, and what incentives would encourage them to take climate action. Mr. Powell shared a lot of information and ideas with us that we are excited to share with Diane and integrate into our project package.
Ideas shared include: Anchoring the school work in the Next Generation Science Standards, and finding a way to integrate more data analysis. Having a scavenger hunt and/or photography contest. Getting people to stay engaged with the website by giving continuous point-earning opportunities, perhaps by having a sort of “snapchat streak” system that rewards you for logging in every so often. Another insight Mr. Powell shared was that it might be helpful to allow kids the chance to be acknowledged in a real way, such as being featured in the newspaper, given a certificate, or earning an honor cord for graduation. Also, as Menlo Spark builds its social media following, a feature on our Instagram, for example, will be very attractive to students who are active on social media.
What We Observed and Learned
With this process we are learning how important it is to interact with people in the community you are trying to serve. While we had good ideas on our own, Mr.Powell gave us insight and answered questions that we could not have gotten off of Google. It is one thing to know statistics; it’s another thing to know the students. We look forward to reading the student survey results and talking with Ms. Thwaite to further our understanding of the students of Menlo Park, to help our community partner, Menlo Spark, reach the most amount of people most effectively, because that is the only way they will reach their goal of a climate neutral city by 2025.
Critical Analysis and Moving Forward
Moving forward, we want to integrate the information we already have into rough drafts of the social media strategies document and student project package. These will be updated as we gather more information from students and teachers. We have also put a notice out in the Menlo Spark e-newsletter soliciting for a family to interview to update the ‘Family Success Story’ portion of the Menlo Spark website but have not located a family yet. One big take away from last week was that we were a little ambitious with our initial timeline, but we also learned how to work with unexpected challenges and create a plan that reflects our realities. As we are all excited about where this project is going, we look forward to our long meeting on Monday as a time to sit down, discuss, and write together about our project deliverables.