The Final Countdown (May 12th) #determination #tenacity #payoff #hardwork
This is pretty much it! While I'm excited to be wrapping up this project, it's sad to see that it's coming to an end. I could end up taking it further in the future, but we'll see what happens. I'm still excited to talk to the judges about my project, although understandably somewhat nervous, but at the end of the day, I'm happy with the work that I've done. This was a project I was extremely passionate about, and I'm incredibly proud of the work that I put into this, and what I got out.
Prototype Update (May 7th) #success #determination #science
Today is a great day! Mrs.Pelletier was able to call her father twice and read the Memento to him, and while there were some technical issues, everything seemed to have gone perfectly. She was able to collect some photos from her first call with her father, and while she could not FaceTime him the second time, she was able to record her followup conversation after she read the Memento to him, and got some amazing audio. I'm ecstatic to hear that her and her father had a good experience with my product, and I feel readier than ever for the final Expo. Included above is a photo taken after their first time sharing the Memento.
Community Outreach (Mar. 11th) #success #BusinessSkills #science
Today is a big day. Last week, I released my community outreach form, and now that the results are in, it looks like I'm in pretty great shape. I found out that a lot of people are interested in buying my product for pretty high prices, and while I don't want to put it too high, it shows that they are very interested. I also found out what memories people value the most, so that shows which way I should lean my product in the future. I'm very happy with the results I got back, and I feel like I'm ready to keep moving forward with my product.
Prototype Development [Part 2] #Networking #Grit #Perseverance
Another huge milestone for me, my prototype has been released! Mrs.Pelletier plans to call her father to try to use it today, with the prototype being a story about her father's days as a mechanic. I hope to hear back from her soon, but for the time being, I just wanted to share my excitement about one of the final steps I will be taking in my Capstone adventure, and in the Skills21 Program as a whole.
Social Media Update
I'm just dropping this post here as a brief update to the status of my Instagram. I stopped using most social media besides YouTube and Twitch, a streaming website, and as such, I honestly neglected the Instagram page that I made. For now, I've kept the page, but since it's empty, I've removed the link from my LaunchPad. I might end up populating it in the future, but just wanted to note its status at the moment.
Prototype Development [Part 1] #BusinessSkills #Independence #Outreach
Another big milestone is coming up for me, as I am now preparing to develop my first prototype! The first step in this process is for me to create a Google Form that I will use to gather info from the family of the person who is receiving the Memento. Then, I'll take that info and use it to build both a Memento, and an instruction list of how best to build the experience. Right now, I plan on asking either my grandmother, or my Capstone teacher, Mrs.Pelletier, for permission to gather some information about someone in their life who has or had dementia. Hopefully, if I can build this product effectively, it will make the lives of their loved ones happier.
Mentor Involvement (Mar. 30th) #success #communication #NextStep
Last week, I hit a pretty big milestone in my Capstone process by finally having the opportunity to speak with Mrs.Szmajlo and Mr.Syrotiak. I learned a lot from my conversation with them, which is linked in the Project Development section, and this meeting gave me a lot of relief since my contact with the Heritage Village hasn't gotten back to me in a long while. Now, it's on to develop my first official prototype, which I plan on dedicating to my late grandfather. Hopefully, with the feedback I got, it'll come out well.
Media Presence (Jan. 20th) #firststeps #makingmoves #multiskilled
I spent some time in the last week or so establishing myself on the internet, both by creating an Instagram account for Memento, and by creating a Wix website that I could use. Starting out with a picture of my dog as the profile and with no posts made yet on my account may seem like I'm not doing much, but there is a whole lot of prep that goes into making these accounts work, so all in good time. I plan to use the Instagram account in a similar way that I use these posts, as a way to let people know about the progress that I've been making on Memento. Meanwhile, my website will be used to market my product and give a true home-base for people to learn all about it.
Mentor Update (Mar. 3) #success #inspiration #BusinessSkills
After some frustration in the process of trying to find a mentor to help me with the product side of my project, I have finally locked in someone who can help me find out how I should write my books! My teacher, Mrs.Pelletier brought up the idea of emailing a local retirement community, Heritage Village, to see if they have any retired authors that could help me, especially since they have a writing club for residents. After emailing, I got into contact with Faith Vicinanza. Faith works in cyber security, but is also a published author and creative writing coach, which caters precisely to what I need for my project. I am very excited to be able to get some outside feedback on my project, especially since I also have my psychology teacher locked in as a mentor as well.
Early Feedback (Feb. 10th) #BusinessSkills #CommunityOutreach
Today, I did some work on releasing a Google Form that could be used to find out if people would be interested in purchasing my product, as well as how much they would be willing to pay for a treatment that could help those suffering from Alzheimer's or other types of dementia. This information will be very useful when finding out how marketable my product is, as well as what the best selling and production price could be if it were to be released. This is only the first of a few Google Forms, but the feedback is more than necessary.
Mentor Research (Jan. 29th) #ambition #grit #networking
As I keep developing my project, I need to begin thinking about who I want to contact in my search for people who could act as mentors for me. Presently, my necessity is for people who are not only experts in the field of neurology to help understand the functions of the mirror neurons, but people who are knowledgeable in ways to activate them through reading, or listening to a story. I will be receiving aid from my A.P. Psychology teacher, but my most ambitious candidate is a man named V. S. Ramachandran, one of the world's most influential and well known neurologists who has done a lot of work in the field of mirror neurons. While there are other people that I would be more than happy to acquire aid from, getting help from Dr.Ramachandran would be absolutely amazing.
Mentor Research [Part 2] (Feb. 8th) #perseverance #trialandfailure #frustration
While I did find my ideal mentor, as well as a backup for the psychology section of my project, I still needed someone that I could contact for some support in the development of my product. This process would be far more difficult than I had initially believed. I still wanted to find someone who had a scientific background, and had done work related to linking the concept of writing to dementia. I quickly found an author who had done some writing about mirror neurons, but was not able to find any way to contact her. I then thought about contacting the owner of the website DIYGenius since he had written an article related to the functions of mirror neurons, but I thought that he did not have the qualifications and research background that I was looking for. When I found out that the third person I wanted to contact had actually passed away afterwards, I was feeling a little frustrated. Regardless, I pressed onto try to find the perfect candidate, which is when I was able to find Suzanne England. Suzanne England published an article that looked into the effects of narrative therapy on people suffering from dementia, which was very similar to my product concept, making her a perfect candidate. Luckily for me, she is alive and well, and I was able to send her an email to ask for her mentorship.
Project Branding (Jan. 7th) #teamwork #BusinessSkills #creativity
For a while, I had some trouble developing my logo, slogan, and even my product title. Part of this came from the fact that I was pivoting my project concept for a while, meaning that I kind of had to wait for when I knew I found something I was really confident in. When this time came, I arrived at the concept of "Memento," which was inspired by the concept of memory in my project. I went with my slogan of "Love lives on" to focus on sustaining memories in loved ones, but that still left me with one thing: my logo. On this end, I received some help from my wonderful girlfriend, who gave me strong logo and color pallete to build my project on.
Papa (Jan. 5th) #passion #ideation
When I first had to dive into my ideation, there was a lot for me to consider. What is something that really matters to me? Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult on all of us, but we all know that. School has been tough as well, but we all know that too. I needed to find something that was personal to me, but still connects to the lives of others. The first thing that came to my mind from this concept was Neil O'Connor, my Papa. And just like that, my project began to grow. This first blog post basically acts as a monument of where it all began, and of how much my papa meant to me in life, and in death.