West U Backpacks: REFRAME

What are the biggest key insights you’ve gained for your project?

  • About half of the students walk, bike, or scooter home
  • Kids carry around more than 1 bag
  • Kids move from class to class without backpacks, but with bags or binders
  • Kids carry all their supplies because they don’t want to forget anything
  • School doesn’t allow backpacks in classrooms
  • Lockers and cubbies exist but are very small
  • Backpacks are not allowed in the classroom because they take up a lot of floor space and students trip
  • Teachers all have different systems
  • Average weight carried around school is 9.926
  • Straps are hurting their shoulders
  • The binder breaks easily (zipper, velcro)
  • Binders are expensive (~$30-40)
  • Disagreement between students and teachers on what the cause of people carrying so much is
  • Students do not easily find necessary materials around desks
  • Significant portion of time each day devoted to students gathering materials
  • Students have too many materials to fit in their backpacks and a lot are unnecessary
  • Frequently use paper assignments; rarely have digital assignments
  • Students complain about heavy backpacks often
  • Students like to share materials with one another
  • Large bags enable kids to carry more stuff
  • Compartments are good
  • Two straps are good
  • Average weight/height of male 10 year olds: 88.3 lbs, 56 in
  • Average weight/height of female 10 year olds: 90.7 lbs, 56.9 in
  • Typical daily load is 8-12 kg (17.6-26.5 lbs) for 12 year olds
  • About 5,000 kids visit emergency room each year because of backpack related injuries
  • At least 14,000 kids treated for backpack related injuries

What is your new HCW statement?

How can we help 5th grade students at West U Elementary School to easily organize and carry around all their necessary materials in a single consolidated manner?

What are your hopes for your project?

We hope to have a low-fidelity, working prototype by the end of the semester after 2-3 iterations.

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