YRTS Have Transited!

April 18, 2020

By Shivneel Prasad and Phurich Pusapanich

The YRTS family (Yarra Ranges Tech School Staff, partner school teachers and young minds) were jettisoned on the  journey of “Design Thinking”, coming up with incredible prototypes to make public transport fun and enjoyable experience.

A Grand Master, Chris Harte (Unstuck Learning) from a magical faraway land together with our resident master, Ashely Van Krieken, helped transition and establish a new approach for our order.

After a week long journey, the Design Thinking approach projected YRTS into space above and beyond. Ashley called a meeting of the order in late February, testing our readiness to handle the first class of Design Thinking for students, the ultimate task. The tech school staff had been preparing for this moment, ready to jump head-on into a successful journey.  

Tuesday the 25th of February, tech school staff entered the arena, led by Master Ashley, with the one and only vision “Empower young minds and assist them with their ideas” within the realm of Design Thinking.

“Let’s plan a party this Saturday” came from location of the Master Ashley. “Yes, and we should have a fireworks” Shiv uttered to which Phurich said “Yes, and ill organise the eats” supported by Ashley who said “Yes, and lets invite everyone to the party”.

This helped demonstrate the magical power behind the “Yes, and…” approach within design thinking, allowing ideas to flow and grow without conflict. The “Yes, and” has been embraced readily by all allowing them “let it go” if they feel that someone is building on their ideas, rather than being shot down.

The first session took like “The big bang”. Students were on it, the force guiding them along, helping creative ideas to emerge from all corners of the universe. Some of the ideas were on the realm of possibility and some were in some other universe. It fit in perfectly with the presentation a bit earlier that talked about the “Future’s cone”. The visualization of seeing their ideas spread out in the 4 quadrants, helping kids choose ideas that gave the best outcomes within their reach.

The student’s spilt up to other “Planets: within the YRTS universe” in order to learn new skills and explore new technology. With the new powers invested in them, they gathered back on “Home Base Earth” to share and discuss their findings from their exploration around the “YRTS universe”. Through this approach they developed “Future Prototypes” to demonstrate their ideas to the “Padolons” at their reach. 

The “vehicle masters”  demonstrated the art of programming Thymio, a self-driving, self-navigating  “YRTS RTD2”. The “3D print masters” unleashed their creative potential “using Star trek like printers” to construct never seen before designs. The “electronics masters” harnessed the power of the “YRTS universe” creating an array of electronics input/output sensor networks. 

From the corner came an echo “We are going to combine these 3 technologies to solve our challenge; “How might we improve the experience of travellers on public transport” 

There were noises of ideas uttered across the room. Students were deeply focused on the tasks, ideas “Hard, Crazy and doable” alike were brought to reality using the new skills acquired. Even ideas that had seemed too hard or undoable at the start of the jounrey seemed within the reach of some. The YRTS family was ablaze, sprinting from here to there, with the old YRTS humans beaming right next the younlings when and as needed, the young minds were set free. 

As always “father time’ caught up with us and it was time to showcase the ideas that had come to life to the rest of the Universes.

The “YRTS marketplace” had on display and sales items such as: 

“The vending machine in the train carriage”

“A train app to tell how crowded the train is and a real time analysis of which carriage has the least people”

“A self-driving sphere vehicle that can be booked by an app that magically appears when you need it”

“A multi-platform train station to optimize the train arrival time, maybe platform 9 and 3/4”

These were but some of the items available in the marketplace. You would need months to traverse all the possibilities that emerged to answer “Ultimate question (asked to the most powerful computer in the world)”  

“How might we improve the public transport experience for travellers?”

Without knowing the YRTS family had created a new problem, what would happen to the poor bus driver if the young mind decide to implement some of their ideas on the way back to the school? Only the arrival of the next class would answer that question, or maybe a design sprint on the bus.