Brainstorming and prototyping

Prototyping is a hands-on way of ‘thinking out loud’ with materials and technologies.

Providing opportunities for brainstorming, ideation, and prototyping

Setting up creative opportunities is crucial to the success of the Makeathon. Here are some great ways to create opportunities for these activities:

  1. Brainstorming sessions: Conduct brainstorming sessions with participants to generate ideas and solutions for the challenge. Encourage participants to think outside the box and come up with as many ideas as possible. Provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for participants to share their ideas. We provide some brainstorming activity ideas in the next section, Facilitating the Makeathon.

  2. Design thinking workshops: Organise design thinking workshops that help participants understand the problem, empathise with the user, define the challenge, come up with possible solutions, prototype, and test. Design thinking workshops can help participants think creatively and systematically about the problem and come up with innovative solutions. Even an introduction to just the very basic principles of design thinking can have a significant impact on how students creatively approach their challenge.

  3. Idea Stations: Set up Idea Stations where participants can share their ideas and get feedback from others. Provide tools such as whiteboards, sticky notes, and markers to facilitate idea generation and sharing.

  4. Prototyping areas: Set up areas where participants can use tools to build and test their ideas. Provide access to sensors, microboards, electronic kits, soldering irons, craft knives, 3D printers, and laser cutters to facilitate the prototyping.

  5. Collaboration spaces: Create collaboration spaces where participants can work together on their ideas. Provide comfortable seating, tables, and power outlets to facilitate collaboration and productivity. Having a breakout room or quiet workspace can be very helpful for some students.

  6. Mentor sessions: Provide mentoring sessions where participants can get feedback and guidance from experts, coaches and facilitators. Mentors can help participants refine their ideas, troubleshoot technical challenges, and provide insights into the industry. Peer mentoring is also an important aspect of the MTF Makeathon methodology.

  7. Work In Progress presentations: Organise ‘show-and-tell’ sessions where participants can showcase their prototypes and ideas to the rest of the group. This can be a great way to foster collaboration, inspire others, and get feedback on the ideas.

By setting up these opportunities, you can create a collaborative and supportive environment that fosters creativity, ideation, and prototyping, and helps participants develop innovative solutions to their challenge.

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