D3@PSP Makes Friends!

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We are in our second full week of making our 200+ origami cranes and we are finding more ways to spice up these long and tedious sessions. We are continuing to rotate teens into the DJ position throughout the session and have seen a lot of progress with this new system. Teens are willing to take requests and know that when their time is up, they need to transition back into the folding line. It has been a great addition to both our reward and behavior systems as well, where teens can either earn extra DJ time or can get their time taken away dependent on their participation and behavior. We love this. We also tested out installation techniques using a silly contest of who’s origami paper basket could hold the most weight (measured in markers) with the four installation options: glue dots, foam stickers, push pins/tacks or tape. We doubted the foam sticker in theory, but it proved to be the strongest (and easiest) in practice!

Beau and I looked at this week ahead of time and brainstormed a few tactics to better reach our goal of roughly 6-8 cranes per person (we’re still averaging about 4-5 cranes per teen, per session). We had 4-5 kids per session and wanted more manpower. We decided to work with the Activities staff and request that they allow us to come select some 10- and 11-year-olds from Wednesday’s sessions to not only come help, but to get a taste of D3. These kids were so excited to be invited to hang out with the older kids and their parents shared their enthusiasm. Although loud and really energetic, this proved to be an amazing mentoring opportunity for our core teen attendants. We saw a lot of supportive moments where the teens were demonstrating and politely correcting the kids’ folding techniques or bonding over music. Heartwarming, to say the least, but also a really important lesson in showing and explaining the design to an outside audience. We were so proud of our teens this week, taking these kids under their wing and guiding them through the D3 process with respect and patience. 
We are close to the end… We look forward to our last week of folding!

Categories: do it, people serving people


The D3 Lab is a collaboration between the Pearson Foundation's New Learning Institute, COMMONstudio design consultancy, and Nightingale Middle School in Los Angeles. It is one part idea lab, one part design and production facility, and one part "do tank." It is a place where students come to nurture and cultivate ideas, tackle big and small problems, and take action.

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