Badges for Student Innovation Box
When I was in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts I loved earning merit badges. Some badges we earned for activities we did as a troop and some required individual commitment and work. Earning the badge was inspiring to me and I could hardly wait for my mother to add the badge to my uniform. We proudly displayed our badge, which demonstrated the journey we had taken up to that point and gave witness to the skills and competencies that we had demonstrated. The badges I earned told a story about me as a young scout and signified what I had mastered. The scouts established a universe of skills and competencies that were worth acquiring (e.g. CPR, cooking, camping, personal fitness) and the scouts endorsed me as having reached mastery once I met the criteria. Badges have continued to be an effective way to inspire people to master new skills and communicate to others skills and abilities. For example, lots of people use badges on their Linkedin pages and colleges, universities, and trade schools have started to offer badges with micro-credentials.
Last year I launched Innovation Box - Student Edition with the goal of developing a process for students to use in designing solutions to real-world problems. Innovation Box is intended to include all the tools of innovators (e.g. method cards, camera, story-telling tools) in a format that engages and empowers. This month I developed 28 student-focused badges to include in Innovation Box. As students work their way through the various tools in Innovation Box (working from problem to scalable solution) they can earn badges that can be displayed in their design notebook (sticker packet below with penny) and digital versions that they can store in their digital portfolio (badge examples below).
The badges are color-coded to align with the first three levels of the Innovation Box process (Frame, Ideate, Test). Students earn these badges as they use methods aligned with these levels. There are eight advanced badges (gray backgrounds). The advanced badges are awarded to student that have completed experimental cycles or have scaled ideas from prototype to wider real-world use.
Like merit badges, the purpose of the Innovation Box badges is to inspire. Students earn badges by engaging in innovation methods and sticking with an idea through multiple iterations until is usable in the real-world. The Innovation Box badges can be collected physically and digitally!