SportsLab: A Sport Research and Product Design Challenge (2017)


SportsLab is testing a collaborative interactive environment where participants become part of a sport research and product design team. Players explore locations including a research lab, makerspace, Parkour gym, and outdoor park to find embedded resources to discover, learn, and tryout skills necessary for success in real world careers related to sport research and shoe design. Teams complete Milestones and Missions including interactions with non-player characters (NPCs) modeled after real world designers, athletes, and researchers; find resources and do related hands-on activities that help them uncover and understand relevant design and STEAM content; and upload deliverables to exhibit their understanding and ultimately submit an Inspiration Board and Product Pitch for a Parkour shoe design to enter in the SportsLab Product Design Challenge.

Each team’s entry is shared with other teams to vote on the best designs through crowdfunding. After teams vote, expert judges—sport researchers, and product designers—review the voting and determine the top designs for awards. SportsLab brings together pedagogical frameworks from game- and project-based learning with a design challenge to foster learning and understanding of 21st Century skills and STEM concepts. SportsLab is modeled after real world companies and sport research labs with an emphasis on creative risk-taking grounded in scientific inquiry and design processes. SportsLab is researching the effectiveness of this approach for delivering a STEM and ICT-infused sport product design challenge working with industry partners as a way to motivate disengaged youth in ways that lead to potential career paths.

NSF Award: 1311901