I partnered with CodeSpeak Labs, which specializes in computer science education for kids, to bring you these resources. Some of the ideas shared have been used with 4th and 5th graders outside of scouting and they loved them!
Product Designer Activity Booklet
Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use the Product Designer Activity Booklet to fulfill the requirements for this Junior Badge. This booklet has engaging exercises that teach girls how to analyze what makes a good product and how to design their own, just like a professional product designer! These activities include doing user interviews, analyzing web-based products, and building a web-based prototypes. With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for a easier way to run your meeting. Learn more about this activity booklet and get yours today!
You may also be interested in these activity booklets for Junior:
- Business Owner
- Savvy Shopper
- Playing The Past
- Browse the other amazing resources for Juniors in the shop as well.
Other Fun Product Owner Activities
Watch how the professionals do it
IDEO is one of the most famous product design firms in the world. In this ABC Nightline video, girls will get to see the step-by-step process that IDEO product designers go through in order to design a product: in this case, re-designing a shopping cart.
The video came out in 2009, and it’s really fun to see how many of the features of the redesigned shopping cart are now incorporated in many stores like Whole Foods.
After watching this 8 minute video, your group can discuss:
- What were the key steps in the IDEO design process?
- What did the designers learn from their observations?
- How did those observations translate into design features?
- What would you change about the design of a shopping cart, and why?
Re-design a wallet
This activity comes from the team at IDEO (see detailed instructions here), so it’s a great follow-up to the design video.
“The Wallet Project is a 90-minute (plus debrief) fast-paced project through a full design cycle. Girls will pair up, show and tell each other about their wallets, ideate, and make a new solution that is “useful and meaningful” to their partner.”
The great thing about re-designing a wallet is that it’s easy to make a working, physical prototype using household materials. You can use paper, tape, markers, fabric scraps, stickers, etc. Girls will learn that there’s no one “right” answer when it comes to design– it’s really about understanding your user and creating something that works for them.
Remix a common game
Take any common board game you happen to have (you can also use several games and have 3-4 girls work on each one.)
Follow these steps:
- Play the game, as it is designed, following the instructions. If it’s a long game like Monopoly, you don’t have to finish a whole game; just play enough so that the girls remember how the game works.
- Discuss what the girls liked and didn’t like about the game, and what parts were confusing or less fun.
- Re-design the game so it’s more fun, difficult, collaborative, etc– the girls can decide! Have them re-design at least some of these elements:
- How the board looks (you can use post-its or paper/tape to temporarily modify the board, e.g., creating new “properties” on Monopoly)
- How players interact with each other
- How players make progress or go backwards
- How the winner is determined
- Play test the new version of the game– did the re-design have the intended impact?
Make Something with a 3D Printer
3D printers are super trendy right now, especially among Maker spaces. You can order one on Amazon here, or you could use one at a local Maker space or school that has one already.
What’s awesome about 3D printers is you can create tangible, 3D prototypes of designs. You can also download other people’s designs from the internet, modify them as you like, and then print them out. It prints using PLA filament, so you’re basically printing in plastic.
You can make things like mini figurines, bracelets, dice, avatars for board games, puzzle pieces, and so much more!
If you don’t want to spend the money to buy equipment, our Product Designer Activity Booklet has step-by-step instructions with activities that don’t require anything besides an internet-connected computer.
What do we do after your Junior girls complete the badge?
Well of course give them the badge to display proudly on their vest, they earned it! Additionally If you are like many leaders we want to award our girls when they complete something even beyond just the patch. One great way to show achievement is with a certificate. Don’t worry you don’t have to make them, I found a resource that has done all the work for you and all you have to do is print them and customize the certificates with each girl’s name, date and troop leader. Click here to get a complete set of Girl Scout Junior badge and journey certificates.
This Leader Planner is from another amazing blogger named Jen her blog is called “I am StrawjenBerry” With the help of Jen I wrote a blog post explaining everything you will get in this planner. It has everything you need to plan your troop year. The planner contains your calendar, meeting planners, rosters and badge trackers in one safe place for when you need it. Read more
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