In addition to the business initiatives I was responsible for, I was given the opportunity to pursue a passion project of my own. The result was a pitch for an HTC-sponsored platform for STEM educators to reach their students through interactive experiences: Labrat. (This would be the foundation on which I eventually developed my senior thesis.)
Labrat's concept was built around a 3-point model: Theory, Experiment, Share.
Intended to provide the bulk of the informational teaching, leveraging storybook-style, interactive layouts with strong, illustrative visual models. It allows users to move through the material at their own pace.
Students are encouraged to demonstrate what they have learned from theory in applied exercises that, hopefully, make the material a more engaging and fun.
An example of how this might be achieved is an Oregon Trail styled Mars mission. Students would have to plan for the trip—using what they have learned about planetary distances and the structure of our solar system—rationally.
Unplanned events on the way would provide opportunities to teach about physics principles and critical thinking.
After the trip, students can compare their decisions to those of other students. They can reflect on data collected during their trip and analyze it to draw meaningful insights.
If the platform succeeded, it could be extended into physical spaces, allowing for entire classes to participate in Labrat experiments.