Curiosity Explorer learning platform

August 2012 – March 2013

Role: Executive Sponsor, Strategist

The Challenge

Science Companion is a hands-on learning methodology for grade-school children developed by Max and Jean Bell, leaders in inquiry based learning. They have a strong reputation, but a small footprint in the market. The existing curriculum is paper-based, and sits well primarily in affluent suburban schools. The Bell’s came to Hot Studio to explore how they might get more science to more kids, and leverage digital technology.

Hot began its work by launching an in-depth research process of the ecosystem for inquiry-based science. We visited schools, after-school programs, spoke with parents, leaders in online learning platforms and game designers.

The Impact

We developed a mission to inspire and prepare the next generation of engaged global citizens who are aware of the natural wonders of the world, involved as real-world explorers, problem solvers, scientists, engineers and designers.

This mission will be fulfilled by the Curiosity Explorer learning platform for children (aged 5+) and their parents, which promotes scientific habits of mind and an appreciation of the natural world.

The mobile application provides open-ended exploration tools, structured activities which inspire and guides kids (and parents) to engage with the real-world, through wonder, observation, recording, experimentation, discovery and reflection.

The mobile app is integrated with a website that will enable greater levels of sharing, collaboration and personalization. A collaborative citizen-science platform, the website enables kids to find people who share their passions, collaborate on projects, start their own projects, and see themselves as part of a larger community.

A business model with basic scaling assumptions was built into the product concepting phase, for approval by Science Companion’s Board of Directors. The product is moving into development now.

Key Tools

User research

Secondary research

Design principles

Multi-stakeholder workshops

Low-fi prototyping

Concept development

Concept resonance testing

Scenarios