Using hand-on activities to redesign the mind

Hands on tools and activities that encourage innovation and creativity through construction.

Photo of Franklin Claure
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  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth


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Phone Number:(571)-385-8490 Address: 1771 Westwind Way Mclean, Virginia 22213

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

With modern day technology being at any person’s fingertips, people have begun to constantly rely on the ideas of a computer. This of course causes one to stop relying on their own solution, which in cases of kids, doesn’t allow them to make better their minds, and for adults this slows down and sometimes impedes innovative thinking.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I am offering a platform where people can express ideas and activities being portrayed through interior remodeling designs. This platform would enhance problem solving and reliance at an early age to one's own ideas. It’s imperative to know that the platform doesn’t add anything, it simply residesigns what is already there. This lets it to be for anyone at any age who is lacking or trying to improve innovative thinking through construction related activities. Our product offers the following: 1.) simple and safe materials that can be alluded to modern day construction materials, 2.) materials that can combine to form larger objects, and 3.) a hands-on way to learning about construction.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

My parents have worked in interior modeling for over 10 years. They always tell me that creativity is a key factor that helps them stay ahead of the competition. They tell me about how every house is a different experience with different problems that they have to solve. The innovation that is necessary to solve these problems has always been fascinating to me. I also often see that my friends do not have the same knowledge of construction that I do and I think the activities that I make will help them learn and enjoy it. My parents have been a big inspiration to me and help me create realistic tools and materials that are similar to the different ones they used every day. I am excited about this project because I have been able to work with my family as well as librarians and teachers to improve my project.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

Hi my name is Franklin Claure, and I am currently a ninth grader attending St.Albans School in DC. With my dad working in interior remodeling for ten years now, he has told me that the most important factor when it comes to staying ahead of the game is to innovate. Helping my dad with his job by assisting with estimates and other work relating necessities has improved my innovative skills and also helped me recognize the current lack of it in such a modern society.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

When one gets involved with our workshops and events they are being given materials that are meant to prototype/represent real life construction materials. The materials vary from magnets to small pieces of hardwood floor and tile. Using these eco-friendly materials they are told to construct certain prototypes representative of real world structures and designs. Once given motivation is the biggest thing I can provide because again, I am trying to motivate them to rely on their own thinking and not another persons.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

My project and product is different than all the other educational toys and tools out there because it uses real and miniature materials from the real world to teach about creativity and innovation. My product uses different miniature construction materials like tiles and hard wood floor combined with magnets to let people try designing their own house. I also use wood to make different posts and this also allows people to use screws to combine different materials.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

So far I have attended 1 regional maker faire(Atlanta), 1 national(George Mason University), and 1 world maker faire(New York). I have also organized three workshops at our local library. With each event I have improved the rigorous exercises given out to the attendees of each event challenging each attendant’s innovative limits with the end goal that each one of the attendants at least leaves with an idea of what innovative thinking is and how to enact it in their modern day activities.One of the most helpful factors in improving activities was the positive feedback that I received from teachers and parents about the activities that we have presented. Parents like that their kids can play and be as creative as they want with the materials that I give them. I like to give the kids and parents building challenges which lets them enjoy trying different ideas.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I would like to continue improving the different materials and start selling boxes of materials to schools and parents. It would be similar to the Lego box sets and this would give kids and parents a large number of materials to work with. I will also give them examples of projects that they can do and give them some challenges. Giving them examples of projects will help them get started with building the houses and designs of their dreams. The design challenges will challenge them to build a certain house without the help of anyone. This will help them practice their creativity and innovation. Having so many materials will help them be more creative because they have to think about what design to build and how it can be built.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Plan & Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Family support

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Low-income community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?



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