This project is the reason why we call ourselves an award winning design studio. For innovation in rethinking the role of exams as a nudge and an experience for students, Studio Carbon was awarded the first price in Education Service Design.
The brief was to design an entrance exam for Young Science Innovators (YSI) Fellowship by Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Center (VASCSC).
The program aims to empower 20 deserving and passionate students from Government schools by giving them a special opportunity to become young innovators who solve real-life problems to bring a significant change in society.
Testing Innovation capabilities is not easy, especially when you are testing the qualitative aspects of a student such as creativity, curiosity, and resilience.
For the Young Science Innovators Fellowship, we had to measure these qualitative human attributes objectively without tarnishing the confidence of children in themselves.
Before designing the test, we spent some days with the students from these schools to understand their world. What do they play with, what do they talk about, how their family condition is- building a complete understanding of their beliefs, values, and other aspects of their life.
The test was then designed to explore the qualities of the students with relatable analogical situations and activities. This ensured that the students were their most honest selves while attempting the questions.
This test is an outcome of our two-year-long systemic research on Quality of Life. Through our research we identified that to test the innovation capabilities of an individual, the following qualities need to be measured:
Thus all the questions of the Innovate test were carefully framed to assess various aspects of these qualities in students.
The first screening test required just 10 minutes. Simple yet powerful. The test evaluated the qualities of Curiosity, Resilience, and Empathy. The last level of screening was a 20 minute interview where students were evaluated for Personality, Empathy, and Attitude.
Our intent with this design was to shift the purpose of tests from evaluation to discovering new ways of looking at the world & thinking. The evaluation was a secondary output. And we were pleasantly surprised by how much this design helped change attitudes of not just students but also teachers.