Public schools in Providence, Rhode Island have been struggling with low academic scores for the past few decades. To boost scores, the city started the Providence Innovation Zone, a two year period of experimentation for lowest performing schools to get scores up. If this failed, the school would close. If successful, the changes made by the school would be implement district wide.
We believed that design thinking could potentially help boost scores by promoting problem solving, increasing student autonomy, and sparking a greater joy in learning. From conversations with educators we recognized that there was a desire to incorporate design thinking concepts in classrooms but a lack of resources, time, and knowledge.
The flow of FrankenFix parallels streamlined rapid prototyping process and emphasizes a character creation process that helps users become emotionally invested in the game. As a result, we found that students had developed a more intimate connection with the characters that they created.
Previous iterations of the game were tested in different school sites, targeting kids in the higher end of the age range in elementary public schools. Kits were designed to work with any class supplies on hand, allowing for a range of flexibility and modularity if the game were to be repeated. Feedback was collected afterwards from participants and teachers in order to improve future iterations.