UX Design / Game Design / Print / Branding
While I was at the 4-H State office, I worked on a program called 4-H TechQUEST. 4-H TechQUEST is a gamified experience to teach middle and high school students about agriculture and STEM. The project took a variety of shapes during the two years I worked there. My team started by designing breakout boxes and STEM-related activities. By the end, we pivoted to prototyping a design thinking game.
On the side, I helped with other programs 4-H provided and did some graphic design work. You can check it out with the button below.
Methods + Tools
Adobe After Effects
Nov 2018 - May 2020
4-H discovered that students were becoming less interested in agriculture and more interested in STEM. My supervisor had a program idea to combine the two to engage kids in both. I helped create this interactive experience. We designed breakout boxes and activities that would teach students about STEM topics.
The team’s goal was to create four different breakout boxes with four themes. The 4-H TechQUEST logo was designed by students at the University of Illinois. Based on the logo, I created a symbol and color scheme for each theme. The themes were energy, water, food, and natural resources.
Breakout Box Themes
ENERGY 1.0 BOX
This energy theme box includes three activities and three puzzles. One puzzle is outside the box, with two on the inside. To unlock the activities all the puzzles need to be solved. The outside puzzle relates to 4-H. The inside puzzles include energy content. I had to do a lot of research about energy to create the content for the puzzles.
CodeNames : Energy
This box includes three activities; designing a rubber band car, an energy design challenge, and a remake of CodeNames. I focused on recreating CodeNames. I created over 100 different icons that related to energy. One of the engineering students reviewed the cards. He gave me feedback and help me redesign the confusing ones.
The purpose of the Energy 1.0 Box was to have a team of 4-H kids breakthrough and do the activities. After they complete the first box, they would receive either Energy 2.0 or another themed box. However, after user tests with the breakout box, we found educators wanted to use the box for a workshop.
CHALLENGES + PIVOTS
With the limited funding, time, and resources, our plan to make four themed boxes would be challenging. We were struggling to create content for the themes we had in mind.
During my last five months at the 4-H office, we pivoted. We were still letting educators rent the Energy 1.0 box for workshops. However, the team wanted to play to our strengths and design another box and activity. We created the TQ Adventure Box and a prototype for a design thinking game.
I had the creative liberty to do any theme for the box. I designed this box during the COVID-19 pandemic and had limited resources. Therefore, the narrative was about a pandemic, and the puzzles included real survival skills.
The outside puzzle told the user about the spread of the virus. The two inside taught modern-day survival skills. One included finding water in your home and filtering water. The other was creating a medical kit with items in the house.
Design Thinking Game
This breakout box included one activity, which is a design thinking game. In this game, the team will go through the design thinking process: from finding the problem, brainstorming, designing, user testing, and re-designing. My job in this process was to create the instructions and build the game board.
The breakout boxes stayed in as a prototype while I was working. We continuously user-tested the puzzles for Energy 1.0 and updated as we went. Unfortunately, COVID-19 led to some setbacks in this project. I was not able to user test the design thinking game or the TQ Adventure Box. I left the instructions for the next person to continue the project.