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Tech Outside The Box

GTT event leaders

Fig 1. The electric waves remote design prototype

Fig 2. The Multimote team pitch deck

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Greater Than Tech (GTT) hosted their event Tech Outside the Box, a workshop for girls to brainstorm ideas for new uses of a common technology, work in teams to develop creative hands-on product ideas, learn a high-level concept of the engineering design process and the business model canvas and best of all, be instructed by two women engineers and the co-founders of GTT.

This flagship 1-day workshop was an eye-opening experience to both the girls and the founders. Girls ranging from ages 11-13 were taught the engineering design process and aspects of the business model canvas.  Students came in with a high-level understanding of what STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) was, but not entirely what an entrepreneur was.

“[I want to know] the business part because I want to know more so maybe I could be head of my own business” participant  mentioned. She had been in various STEM programs but she never applied engineering to business concepts.

During this workshop, the girls’ problem to solve was to transform a current technology into a new technology. Students created a better way to enhance a remote control and constructed futuristic improvements to the prototype. The students learned the aspect of the engineering design process where they understood requirements, brainstormed a new, innovative product, created designs and tested their prototype product. The following steps included, creating the design of their prototype and deciding on key channels, price target and value proposition to cater to their ideal customer.

The electric waves remote design prototype (Fig 1.)

“We want to cater to the disabled, the elderly and even lazy people,” says a teammate while explaining the target market for their “Electric Waves” remote. The electric waves remote would have features to turn on the lights, order food, sync and charge smartphones and even be a detachable touch screen device. As an engineer with an MBA and business development experience, Co-Founder Jasmine LeFlore, was thrilled with the focus the Electric Team had on their prototype:

“This team took a lot of thought and pride in their design, I saw the iteration they had when it came down to their remote design, remote price and target customer. They really thought about if their target customer would appreciate the features and price-point they created. I could tell they had STEM experience, but I saw that they enjoyed the creativity and marketing side of what STEM could offer as a business-person as well.”

“In my future job, I will probably need to present, so getting used to it is good” understood after a successful workshop. (Fig.2)

Co-Founder, Dr. Brittany Wheeler, an experienced manufacturing engineer, further emphasized the reality they were creating with the Tech Outside the Box program. “As middle school students, they may not have realized this, but what they were really doing was conceptualizing (Internet of Things) or IoTs. Brittany mentored the “Multi-mote” team whose remote concept was a solution to control lights and help people multitask when they are stressed.

After a successful workshop, Dr. Wheeler reflects on her own life when she was in middle school:

“I wish I would have been exposed to not only engineering, but also business earlier in my life. I would have had a target career bullseye at a younger age and maybe would have been in an even better position to help girls of color.”- Dr. Wheeler

Stay tuned for our next event and connect with us on social media!