Celebrating Student Creativity in Product Design and Storytelling – Digital Promise

Celebrating Student Creativity in Product Design and Storytelling

November 2, 2017 | By

Digital Promise launched the filmMAKER Challenge, with support from Chevron, in 2016 to engage students in product design and storytelling. Middle and high school students were challenged to redesign a product to be more accessible, beautiful, or sustainable, while documenting their process. Students from across the country took on the Challenge and reinvented products to address issues faced in their everyday lives and by their communities. From over 70 submissions, four teams of student designers were chosen as winners and invited to present their film and design at a 2017 Maker Faire.

In May, two of these teams traveled to San Francisco to attend Bay Area Maker Faire to present. Last month, at the World Maker Faire in New York, the other two winning teams of the Challenge were invited to showcase their films and designs on the Education Stage. The Edmunds Middle School team from Burlington, Vermont, presented their redesign of mittens. After learning how their community’s homeless population is at high risk of hypothermia in the winter, the team was interested in creating a product that was both more affordable and useful. Watch and learn more about the students’ trip below: 


From McDonald, Pennsylvania, the South Fayette High School team shared their prototype for a new type of pill bottle. After conducting research and interviews about prescription drug overdose, the students created a bottle with a dispenser mechanism which uses a biometric lock to give only the correct dosage to a person. Hear from the students as they share their experience participating in the Challenge and attending the Faire below:

While our 2016-2017 Challenge has closed, we encourage you to use the resources below to continue to lead design and filmmaking opportunities with students.

  • The filmMAKER Challenge guide contains activities, projects, and video challenges to help students build design and storytelling skills.
  • The filmMAKER Challenge Webinar series was created to help teachers lead the Challenge with their students and features experts in design education and film production.
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