The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders has a mission statement that all of the students know by heart and apply to their life. As most know living a healthy and well-balanced life is vital to being happy and successful, so our school participates in a weekly thirty minute session of yoga. Not only do we participate, but the seniors even get the opportunity to teach the lessons. Although we all have learned to love yoga, the structure and atmosphere has room for improvement that can better the students’ experience.
The current location for yoga occurs in the small gym, which is closed off from all other student activities and offers a quite area with nice dimmed lighting. However, there is a problem with the system and storage of the yoga mats. When students walk in to get their mats, they all crowd into one corner where two carts are full of a chaotic mess of mats that are partially rolled up and all thrown astray. This takes away from precious time that could be used to meditate and perform movements longer. The makerspace instructor, Mrs. Josephson, has brought to my attention how bad the situation has become. She says that she has even noticed signs of mold growth on some of the mats due to their storage condition. Being kept in such close quarters and not used on the proper side has led to an exponentially quicker deterioration.
Amelia, Sophie, and I have decided to tackle this problem by building a new yoga mat storage system that will be a set of racks. These racks will consist of approximately nine racks (each made of two wooden boards) that will hold around eleven mats each. The wooden boards will have pegs that will be extruded out at a slight angle upwards, so each mat will fit perfectly when properly rolled up. The boards will be bolted to the concrete wall in the small gym that is in-between two basketball nets. These racks will not be interfering with any physical activity or game, so the coaches have approved of the idea. This will also be more aesthetically pleasing than the carts or our previous brainstorm ideas. We did go through many ideas before we arrived at our final design. Our first idea was a conveyer belt that we’ve seen at dry cleaners, but this idea was thrown out because it was getting fairly complicated and didn’t seem like a task that would be possible to accomplish in a few months nor be accomplished in the space we had available. The next idea was a variation of the racks of our final design, but it included various lines that would fall forward to have mats be folded over it. This was also getting complicated and wasn’t going to fit enough mats.
Our final product will resemble this image above. The mats will fit perfectly, be organized, and take up very little space.
The images above are a few of our brainstorm sketches that we discussed and often denied. These ideas were all creative and possible, but under our constraints (such as time and money) we had to narrow it down.
(images taken by myself)
This project has already come a long way and will hopefully be finished within the next few months. Prototyping will be coming up soon and our materials will be ordered soon as well. I’m very excited to be tackling a problem that not only effects me, but all of my peers. This final product will be a gift back to the school and keep students healthier and happier. If there are any questions about the process we will be going through or any concerns please leave a comment!