Summer 2014

Post image for Casey Morris tells why D.Camp was a hit with him this summer

Author Casey Morris (pictured left), who is a sophomore at Menlo-Atherton High School, contributed this post as part of InMenlo’s series How I Spent My Summer Vacation. If you have an interesting summer experience, please email us at tips@inmenlo.com.

I came to my first day of D.Camp feeling nervous about attending a camp that was brand new and having had little experience other than curiosity for its subject — product design.

When I walked into the library at Palo Alto High School where the camp was held, I immediately sat down next to the only familiar face I saw, my close friend Trevor. However, after starting the day off with some “get to know each other” exercises, I was surprised at how friendly I had become with many other campers. With these newfound friendships, each design activity we did was even more fun.

The highlight of the camp, for me at least, was the second half, in which we were all put into groups and given the same problem to solve: How to make riding a bike easier and safer. We started off by going to a local bike shop in which we asked the owner various questions such as, “What do you think people look for when buying a bike?” We also peeked around the store looking at accessories that have already been created to help cyclists.

After collecting our “data” from the bike shop, we rushed back to D.Camp to brainstorm product ideas. Our ideas addressed every possible problem of the bike from security and lighting to personalization. After we trimmed down our massive list of possible products to the two or three we all liked, we started the prototyping stage.

Cardboard, duck tape, exacto-knives — everything you could ever need — was at our disposal. We started building things and breaking things until we finally ended up with our models. After completing our prototypes, we began the final step — creating a poster to display our products’ features and benefits.

In the end we ended up with a few great ideas, models of those ideas, and a poster representing those ideas. On the last day of camp, each group pitched their product ideas to a panel of judges (local tech specialists, investors, and entrepreneurs) along with our family and friends. All the activities we did were a blast, and the camp gave me a fun, high-level exposure to product design. This was definitely one of the best camps I’ve ever attended, thanks to the creativity, dedication and organization of its leaders!

Editor’s note: D.Camp was created by Alison Wong, an alum of Stanford’s D.School and IDEO who wanted to spread design thinking curriculum to the high school level.  With experienced instructors with over 40 years of combined innovation experience, it aims to inspire teens to pursue design as a career and to use design thinking in their everyday lives to solve problems. It will be held again next summer in two sessions.

Photo courtesy of D.Camp

{ Be the first to comment }

Filoli gardens sparkle in the twilight, captured by photographer Frances Freyberg

Thumbnail image for Filoli gardens sparkle in the twilight, captured by photographer Frances Freyberg

Filoli in Woodside closes at 3:30 pm, except for a few days each summer when the grounds stay open into the evening for Sunset Hikes and Orchard Walks. Menlo Park-based photographer took advantage of the last late opening of the summer to photograph the garden and grounds. “Filoli is my favorite local garden, and I’ve […]

Click to read more →

Women’s Wellness Weekend at Lair of the Golden Bear is hit with local sisters

Thumbnail image for Women’s Wellness Weekend at Lair of the Golden Bear is hit with local sisters

Editor’s note: Did you have a new summer adventure or experience? Send your ideas to tips@inmenlo.com. Women’s Wellness Weekend (actually a long weekend, Wednesday through Sunday) was held this past weekend at the University of California, Berkeley’s Lair of the Golden Bear. While Cal blue and gold could be seen everywhere in camp, one need not […]

Click to read more →

Summer adventure: Walking the Camino de Santiago with Trinity Church group

Thumbnail image for Summer adventure: Walking the Camino de Santiago with Trinity Church group

In the post and photos below, M-A grad Annalise Deal, who heads for Boston College this fall, talks about her summer experience walking the Camino de Santiago. We’d like to hear how other Menlo Park and Atherton residents spent their summer vacation. Send stories/photos to tips@inmenlo.com. “The Camino has been a gift, pay it forward.” I read […]

Click to read more →

Kids and adults turn out for first Family Fitness night in downtown Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Kids and adults turn out for first Family Fitness night in downtown Menlo Park

InMenlo photographer Rebecca Flanagan captured the spirit of the first Family Fitness Extravaganza along Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park last night. About 30 local companies — offering a variety of fitness programs and/or equipment — were on hand to showcase their wares.

Click to read more →

Family Fitness Extravaganza debuts in downtown Menlo Park on Aug. 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

Thumbnail image for Family Fitness Extravaganza debuts in downtown Menlo Park on Aug. 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

The City of Menlo Park and SBM Fitness are joining together to bring the city’s first Downtown Family Fitness Extravaganza on Wednesday, Aug 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm along Santa Cruz Avenue. The event aims to promote healthy living, while making fitness fun for the whole family. In addition to activities led by individual […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park residents gather at Menalto Corners for National Night Out festivities

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park residents gather at Menalto Corners for National Night Out festivities

National Night Out (NNO) last Tuesday drew quite the crowd of Menlo Park residents to Menalto Corners where locals enjoyed food and entertainment. Activities included a “Dunk Tank” with Mayor Ray Mueller, the Captivating Dance by Nona dance show, bounce houses sponsored by Spa in the Park, a trivia contest by Menalto Cleaners, and a game and puzzles table by […]

Click to read more →

Summer – enjoy it while it’s hot in Menlo Park

Cruising around Menlo Park on a warm August Sunday, iPhone in hand. Squids are prolific now along the Coast and found fresh at the Farmer’s Market today where Pietro suggested an awesome Calamari salad. Then they became part of outrageous seafood Cioppino stew, scooped over black ink pasta and topped with garden fresh herbs. A grilled prime […]

Click to read more →

What caught our eye at the Connoisseurs’ Marketplace in downtown Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for What caught our eye at the Connoisseurs’ Marketplace in downtown Menlo Park

The 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace is taking place this weekend in downtown Menlo Park along Santa Cruz Avenue, and we wandered down this morning to take a look. Like similar summer street festivals there’s something for everyone — food, shopping, beer/wine and entertainment. The fun t-shirts from YeahYeah!PonyPrince, which sells original hand-painted linoleum block printed designs […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park hosts the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace July 19-20

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park hosts the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace July 19-20

Presented by the Melo Park Chamber of Commerce, the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace comes to Santa Cruz Avenue on July 19-20. Hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm both days; admission is free. There is also a “Saturday Twilight Concert” featuring Steely Dan/Chicago tribute band Aja Vu from 5:30-8:00 pm on Saturday, July 19 in Fremont Park. Festival […]

Click to read more →

An iPhone is handy camera to have for “July-ing” around Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for An iPhone is handy camera to have for “July-ing” around Menlo Park

Ah, Menlo Park! As shot from my iPhone this week: Farmer’s Market peppers at the peek of perfection. Laurel Street, a sidewalk showcase for strolling. Painterly edited. Black Eyed Susans in all their summer glory. Pumpkins July-ing around on hot summer days. Pictured is Lolly Font, 84, Menlo Park Yogi, doing her daily yoga walk […]

Click to read more →