For the past month and half the newly created Plugged In group have been working on their portable phone charging station designed for students to use during school. I, Trinh, and my fellow peer, Toni are no longer a part of Guppies Group Inc. We have decided to break away from that project because we didn’t have a passion for it anymore and the phone charging station seemed more practical. Two other classmates joined our team to make this product. Annalise (an engineering student) and Jada (a biomedical science student) has helped add diversity and fresh ideas to our group. Since Toni and I worked together during Guppies Group Inc. we are familiar with how each others’ thinking process and know how we both like to learn. With the addition of two new members, Annalise and Jada, brainstorming and coming up with product ideas has been an eye opening process due to the diverse thinking styles we all have.
Enough about that though, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Why a portable charging station? Can’t you already find those on Amazon at Best Buy? Well blog post reader, you’re right to be skeptical, smart even. However, how many times have you seen an acrylic cubby/locker style charging station small and portable enough to be placed in the average classroom? Not very often I’m guessing… In the Ann Richards School, students always ask their teachers if they can plug in their phone chargers so they can juice up their electronic devices. Not only does this method cause a maze of tangled cords and phones placed throughout the room but it can raises concerns regarding security and theft…and it annoys the teachers. Though it would be nice for students to charge their phones anywhere in the school without worrying about someone stealing their phones, it doesn’t always work out this way in a public environment. The Plugged In product will be constructed similar to the structure of school lockers. The product will have a lock and key system to ensure maximum security while still allowing students to charge their phones in one convenient area. The cubby style product will be determined by the teacher if they want to hold it in their classroom or not. It will allow several students to charge devices ranging from an iPhone 4 to iPhone 6+ to other devices such as Samsung Galaxies.
For the past week, we have talked about what material would work best with our idea and we came up with Acrylic panels. We wanted to first use wood but decided that Acrylic might be more aesthetically appealing and lightweight for maximum portability. I found this really cool and easy to comprehend article about how to cut, drill, finish and glue the acrylic panels. However before we start actually buying the materials making the final product, our group needs to make a prototype first. Since Annalise and Toni are the engineer thinkers of the group they are working with AutoCAD to design a 3-D model. This helps us gain perspective and insight on how our product will look since the dimensions of each cubby (compatible with various types of phones) is inserted into the 3-D model. Also what we’re doing on AutoCAD will give us an idea of how the final product will look and allow us to make any revisions and edits to our plan if needed.
Since this Thursday is purely a construction day where we will be able to use cardboard to make a physical 3-D model of the portable charging station my team members and I will finally will be able to build a prototype of our product. This is so exciting! I’m quite enjoying this project a lot because it’s not something that I thought that I would ever be doing but working with bright minded peers and having access to a room designated to building and creating allows me to tap into the inner DIY me.