Developing Sustainable Futures

Every year we invite sixth form students from Kingdown School into Giant Peach HQ to develop an app that helps solve a real-life pressing issue. This time – ‘The Problem With Plastic.’ Here with their take on the day is the Kingdown Media A Level Team:

First impressions

Our day started by driving up to the Giant Peach HQ and seeing the barn, surrounded by the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. Our first impressions were deceiving, as inside the barn is very modern and well-equipped with all sorts of technology, facilities and snacks! We were given a warm welcome by Corrina and made to feel very much at home. Earlier on in the minibus, our teacher, Mrs Pope, told us we would need to put our phones away but then we met James who introduced himself and told us what we were going to be doing with our day. He encouraged us to be creative and use our phones to aid our work, along with following Giant Peach on their social media channels and tweeting using their hashtags. Definitely a change from school!

The brief

James introduced us to our brief for the day which was ‘The Problem With Plastic.’ We discussed the problem and ways which we could attempt to solve it. We started brainstorming ways we could encourage people to recycle more plastic, using the amazing whiteboard wall in the meeting room. After sieving out many thoughts we finally decided on our final idea. We split up into our two teams and were introduced to Joey. Joey demonstrated how to use wireframes, which is a way of planning out the different screens and functions of an app. Receiving constructive feedback from both Joey and James helped us develop the little details that make the apps successful and consumer friendly. We spent a lot of time refining our wireframes to perfection and really enjoyed the processes that we were taken through. Our creative skills were challenged when we had to agree upon a brand name and there were quite a few intense discussions surrounding the shortlists we came up with.

After this we moved swiftly on with the next step; our mood board. Using images on Pinterest, we identified colours, fonts and pictures we felt most represented our brand and app idea. These mood boards then went into the presentations we were creating as we went along. The designers later took these ideas when they began creating our brand image and we were pleased to see how they had effectively used our mood boards as their inspiration.  

We got the chance to relax at lunchtime and enjoy a huge selection of pizza. Much needed fuel to sustain us through the afternoon! Healthy competition developed over some games outside in the sunshine whilst the designers were hard at work creating our brand images. After lunch we went into the Giant Peach hub where we were thoroughly impressed with their informal, yet professional, working environment. Everyone was impressed with the dual-screen Mac technology that allowed ideas to come to life right in front of us and there was a real buzz around the place. It seemed to us that everyone on the team loves working at Giant Peach and can let their creativity run free, bouncing ideas off each other and using their environment for inspiration.

Presentation time!

It was now nearing the afternoon tasks and we began sorting and rehearsing our presentations, ready to show to the business managers. Roles were quickly divided up and we had a short amount of time to finalise our ideas and how we were going to present them effectively. It felt like Dragon’s Den! Presenting to the team was an extremely nerve-wracking experience but they seemed impressed with our ideas and what we had achieved in such a short amount of time. In school, we often spend hours preparing to give presentations but the time pressures with this task meant we had to be super focussed and extremely knowledgeable about our app within a much shorter time period. Although we felt nervous, the sense of achievement when we had presented was amazing. Both teams had come up with very similar app ideas – rewarding customers with points for buying environmentally friendly and recyclable products. The points could then be redeemed in exchange for voucher codes with certain brands. Unfortunately, our team didn’t win but we were offered lots more constructive feedback and we returned home feeling like we had been listened to and encouraged.

Overall, our team really enjoyed the chance to put our media skills to use in a professional environment and it was great to be treated as adults. We agreed that our favourite part of the day was using our creativity to come up with the name and brand identity for our app. Everyone learned a huge amount working with the Giant Peach team and came away with a great sense of achievement. Thank you for having us!