With only two weeks to go until our high school teams present their projects, we're pleased to recognize the We the Future design team at Abraham Lincoln High School as our final high school team of the month. The five seniors who make up this team are students in the Health-Related Technology Academy at Lincoln and view themselves as leaders in their school and community.
The team's design challenge, “How might we encourage students in our school to recognize the importance of appropriate condom use?” seeks to change student behavior in order to reduce teen pregnancy and STD transmission.
It's a complex topic, but the team isn’t going it alone. They’ve been collaborating with Topher Anderson, a Philadelphia University instructor who is volunteering with DT Philly. The team and Topher kept in touch even while Topher was in Germany for two months, using video chats to discuss their ideas and get feedback on their work. By the time Topher returned, the team was ready for prototyping and visited Topher at Philadelphia University to work on their design ideas and take advantage of the capabilities of the PhilaU prototyping tools. The students share that working with Topher is one of their favorite parts of the DT Philly experience. He pushes them out of their comfort zone and guides them as they explore new design ideas and practices.
As they get ready for the DT Philly presentations the design team is gathering feedback from fellow students and staff about their new prototype dispenser and approach to educating peers about condom use, and they are excited to share their passion for the project and show the measurable impact it can have on their peers. Their short term goals include implementing their ideas in their school, but they're also thinking about how they could help other schools across the city.