My Top Ten IA Experiences Colby J. Eldridge - University of Florida

#1 - The first homework assignment from Creativity in Context was to narrow down and present our favorite childhood learning tool. In doing this we researched the benefits and skills that the tool we selected offered children. I chose to talk about the Highlights magazines that I received as a child, these offer fun games that promote reading and cognition. This assignment stood out to me because I had to empathize with my younger self and really try and narrow down which creative thinking tool that had a big impact on me as a child.
#2 - Team 3D Prototyping Project Deliverable 1: This assignment was the start of our largest task of the year; our 3D team prototype. This assignment built upon the childhood learning tool assignment discussed previously. We all split up into groups of like minded class mates in an attempt to come together and create a children's toy that was both fun and engaging for the purpose of educating the child. The photos above are the very first rough sketches of the product that we decided on prototyping.
#3 - Team 3D Prototyping Project Deliverable 2: This assignment was the first that we were able to show off some of the progress we had made in the Fab Lab. Our team worked hard together to maximize our class time and to ensure that all other meetings went as smooth as possible. The teamwork that we had is what enabled us to be so efficient in our work, and I feel that now if I need any help or if I need partner's for anything I know three guys to call. Thanks for making the work a breeze fellas.
#4 - Team 3D Prototyping Project Final: The final name of the toy we designed was chosen to be: The Memorization Station. We added a white board that is held to the game by magnets, a full set of letters to fill in the blanks, and lastly a set of rules that change depending on the players age or skill level. This Final project required us to present our finished prototype to the class and demonstrate how the game is played which was great practice for a real product pitch scenario.
#5 - Creative Person Resume: The creative person's resume was one of my favorite assignments during this course. This was an interesting assignment because I had to step into the shoes of one of the most influential pianist/composers of the late romantic period in classical music (late 19th - early 20th century): Sergei Rachmaninoff. This task required me to dive deep into his past and list all of his education, accolades, and accomplishments in order to properly give him justice in a mock resume. This was fun for me because I adore his work and I got to listen to his music while I conducted research.
#6 - The IA speaker series #1: This event was not was I was expecting to say the very least. I am no dancer, and I often find actions like dancing in public embarrassing and silly. I think this event helped me loosen up a little and that is why I chose it to be in my top ten. I played around during this event. I laughed and joked with friends even though I was VERY hesitant to start. The best part of the event hands down was the open floor activity where someone started as our eyes and we swapped person to person without talking. Being passed about by your friends unknowingly sure is unnerving but it is kinda fun at the same time.
#7 - Recognizing and Forming Patterns Photography: This assignment required us to find and recognize patterns and compare them to something that looks similar in nature. Although they are of course not exact matches the photo on the left is a close up of the ceiling tiles in our Creativity in Context classroom and the photo on the right is the bark of a birch tree. This was a fun assignment because I love spending time in the outdoors and we had to stop and deconstruct our photo down to simple patterns and images, this reminded me of a birch tree's bark and I put them side by side.
#8 - Empathy Journal: The empathy journal was an interesting assignment that had us record at least three different empathetic observations per day to see if we could pick up on the emotional and physical well being of others. This also involved finding and recognizing patterns because we have to see what similar symptoms and signs of sickness and sadness are and it becomes easy to see these emotions in people once you understand what the different expressions and signs are. Also analogizing people (which can be wrong and cause issues) by judging their actions and emotions against those of other people who have acted the same can really help you determine just how another person feels.
#9 - The 30 day Challenge: The 30 day Challenge was truly an eye opening experience that actually turned out to be a lot of fun. Although I did silly little stories, small acrostic poems, and even small sculptures made from things in my recycling bin, I found myself unwinding for 20-30 minutes a day to "work" on this assignment. It really didn't feel like work. It was fun and silly reading off my poems and showing my friends my work, we all had laughs and I really enjoyed the small break from all of the stressful work. This assignment was a great way to show us the importance of creative thought and creative action. I find myself trying to approach problems in new and creative ways as well as using a better choice of words while writing. These small little projects did not take up too much of my time each day, but challenged me to think in a way that was much different than the challenged I face with my day to day school work.
#10- The First Day of Class: The first day of the Creativity in Context course is one that I will not forget. This is my first day in college and I am super excited to experience the college life, so I walk into my first few classes and they all go as expected, but then I walked into my IA class. In an awesome new room while sitting down waiting for class to start Mrs. B tells us all to take a single sheet of paper and try to see how high we could get it with the instructions of: use the materials provided and anything in the room. In a college class with people I'd never met we started stacking chairs, books, backpacks, paper, whiteboards, and anything we found useful to reach the maximum height. Most of us banded together to create the tallest structure that touched the ceiling. This was a great activity to both break the ice between the new students and introduce us into our new life of thinking through the lens of innovation. I knew I was in the right place.

Credits:

Created with images by Zaimful - "sunrise pond fog" • PublicDomainPictures - "child book boy" • music2020 - "Sergei Rachmaninoff 拉赫玛尼诺夫" • PublicDomainPictures - "allergy cold disease" • AdinaVoicu - "brother sister red hair" • Skitterphoto - "puppy dog pet" • MIH83 - "scissors tape tool" • hellethom - "cobra chair" • dmswart - "Legal Pad"

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