From A Space To A Place
Step 4: Brainstorming, Mind Mapping and Project Management
With this exercise the students learned mind mapping, a thinking tool that triggers and maps out your thoughts and ideas in a visual way.
We also had a small group brainstorming session where we asked the youth to share with us their thoughts about their community. We had a lively exchange about the pros and cons of our neighborhoods. Some of the comments made were related to stray animals and a lack of fresh food, as well as excessive noise and violence.
We asked, “How can we improve the quality of life in our community?” and let the students use this technique to answer the question.
The students at Marshall Middle School had a range of ideas including:
- “I would enjoy seeing my friends in this community; I would love to see them in this wonderful school”
- “Sure, life is too short to sit and wait, let’s just sit for 5 minutes”
- “Try to stop violence”
- “I would like to see people caring for each other, to care for bullies, to show the love you have for them”.
All the students wanted to see their neighborhood be a quieter, safer, more peaceful place. One student shared the following: “I would like to write something to do with peace or paint it because there are a lot of gangs and I think that is bad. Maybe someone may enjoy a mural like that.”
The students at Marshall finally decided to create a place where everybody can go and have a good time. Here are some of their suggestions based on what they feel the community lacks: Benches, dog house, brick pattern for the ground filled with words of encouragement, hope, peace…
The use of software solutions to define their vision, a presentation about Project Management helped them understand the different steps necessary to complete the project successfully. A preparation to STEM
The ideas from the students at Change Happens included:
- “Educate younger kids about preventing teen pregnancy, hold community meetings/ hand out protection”
- “Have helpful community gatherings, food drives”
- “Address gang violence”
- “Address racism by holding people from different backgrounds together and by teaching them that there is no difference between races”
All of the students wanted to see their neighborhood become a safer, more peaceful place with more stores, healthy food, and locations for social dialogue. One teen shared the following: “I would like to make a park, help people with their problems, sit down and talk to them.”
The students from Change Happens decided to educate their community about certain social issues. They wanted to use their powerful “Found Poems” to spread awareness about teen pregnancy, gang violence, racism, and beautification. Using their creativity, the students brought their poetry to life with beats and practiced performing them with the help of Rachel Dickson from Driven Theater Company.