Hi! Its Patty A. and Sammie S. We attend the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. At the beginning of the semester in Project Lead The Way (PLTW), we were given a challenge. Our teachers were having a “dance party” and they needed a way to make their iPhone speakers louder so everyone would be able to hear the music, not just people a few feet from the phone. This challenge was meant to get us used to, or re-used to the design process. The design process consists of some steps. First you need to define the problem. Then, you need to generate concepts, like constraints such as rules, materials, timing, etc. Next, you need to develop a valid solution, which should solve your original problem. Then you need to create a prototype. You need to make sure your solution solves your problem. Finally, you can present your solution!
Understanding the design process might be easy enough, but putting it into action is a bit harder. When we got our challenge, we first made a design brief. The design brief basically is when you detect the problem, who’s it going to help, what materials are required, how much time do you have (constraints), and what is the final product going to do/how its going to solve our problem. We came up with a few ideas, which led to our design matrix.
The design matrix is a chart in which we evaluate each idea to see which one fits the standards best. We had a lot of ideas, but with the design matrix, we came down to two, then our final idea.
Once when came up with our main idea we continued on with our technical drawing. A technical drawing is a final drawing of your idea with measurements, description of each part and what each part does.
Once we completed our technical drawing, we did a testing report. A testing report is when you test out your product and record your results and observe the quality of its performance. With our product, we measured the sound in decibels (dBA). We did 3 trials. 3 with the speakers and 3 without them. With the 3 trials with the speakers, our results were all 80 dBA. Without them, we got a range of 60-65 dBA. From the results, we can clearly tell our amplifier improved the sound of the iPhone speakers.
Our solution was to put two plastic cups together. The cup within the other cup would have holes around the circumference of the middle. With this, the sound would escape through the holes, but hit the hard layer of the other cup. The harder the surface, the harder the vibration, and it would make the sound louder. We met our clients requirements by increasing the sound of the iPhone speakers by a noticeable amount.
Throughout this process, we had a few conflicts, and it took a while to get used to the process, but it really helped us narrow down our ideas. This process works for anything, which is amazing. Can’t wait to get even more done! 🙂