Seventh Graders Innovate for a Better Tomorrow

What would it look like if you could design a tool or create a program that would solve a problem or meet a need (or just meet a want) in order to make someone’s life better? 

That is the central question that MICDS seventh-grade girls have been working on over the past three weeks with Dr. Tanya Roth, Upper School History Teacher. 

Over the course of the school year, seventh graders have been reflecting on five themes of history—Geography & Movement, Belief & Ideology, Government, Power & Equality, and Innovation & Technology—and recently completed work on their innovation and technology projects. 

“This was our final topical unit, and I wanted the students to actually go through the process of innovating,” said Dr. Roth. Before spring break, students studied the Power & Equality unit and started thinking through practical ways in which they, as Middle School students, could create changes. “In my mind, there was a connection between thinking about innovations and thinking about making positive change,” Roth said. 

Initial work began by learning about innovations in history. Then, each student researched and presented what they thought was the most important innovation ever. Next, students were asked to innovate with their own ideas.

Dr. Roth teamed up with Pat Woessner, Middle School Coordinator of Instructional Technology, and Branson Lawrence, Middle School Science Teacher/Maker & Robotics Coordinator, so that students could have full reign of the Middle School Makerspace. Some students learned how to program apps using MIT App Inventor before transitioning to Adobe Express to mock up what their design would look if it were utilized in a real-world situation. Some students used 3D printing capabilities to make prototypes of objects.

Once the projects were completed, students assembled in small groups, shared their work, and considered the unintended consequences of inventions and innovations. They thought about what about their designs worked well and what they would do differently next time to help improve the world. 

Nice work, Rams!

Check out the Seventh-Grade Innovation Projects:

  • Reusable medical syringe
  • Map of safe spaces in war
  • News around the world, different perspectives
  • App for water donations and object to show donations
  • Device to catch spills around coffee mugs
  • Solar-powered car charger for public parking
  • Field hockey goal that rebounds the ball
  • Nutrition app
  • App to motivate people to clean up trash
  • Remove rust from cheap jewelry
  • Hologram version of FaceTime
  • Self-scan to check for cancers
  • Water bottle volume sensor
  • Miniature drip irrigation system
  • Vending machine to donate funds to charities
  • An insole that senses foot pressure for runners