Local High School Students Use CardBoard to Innovate

warren central uses cardboard and user story mapping
Last Updated: January 16, 2019

Warren Central High School seniors, Garat Phelps, and Christian Holtsclaw were posed a problem.

Students within the cosmetology department needed a more reliable way to track their hours throughout the school year to earn their cosmetology license. Their current process is error-prone and took up valuable administrative staff time.  Garat and Christian set out to build an app that would make entering time easier for students using their mobile phones. The app will also remove the burden for teachers and allow them more time inside the classroom and less on admin work.

Administrators approached Computer Science teacher, Joshua Law with selecting students that could plan, design and build an application to solve the current administrative headache.

Law has been teaching Computer Science for the past 5 years. His goal as a teacher…

To provide students with real-world experience.

How did it happen?

Warren Central students garat and christian collaborating on a project using CardBoard and user story mapping

Warren Central students garat and christian collaborating on a project using CardBoard

With a background in mathematics, Law knew he needed to find creative ways to expand their understanding of computer science.

Law approached local businesses in the area who are experts in the field of computer science. He looked to bring the students in to show new concepts, theories, and ways of thinking relating  to the software design and development process.

For his most recent project, Law took the students to visit SEP in Carmel. SEP is a software product design and development company who partners with companies to develop software products that create valuable solutions for complex problems. The students were shown exactly that: a new way of thinking in user story mapping.

To encourage their growth and understanding in user story mapping, SEP connected the students with CardBoard, an online user story mapping app also  located in Carmel, Indiana.

CardBoard donated annual licenses to Warren Central’s Computer Science program as a way to give back to the community and promote the tools young aspiring students can use to increase their knowledge and skills within the particular field of study.  “It’s not only important to teach kids to code; they also need to make sure they are solving the right problem,”  said former CardBoard CEO. “The real magic is seeing a problem in the world and providing the best solution for that problem. The code is just a tool to fix the problem.”

After they created their plan of action using CardBoard and identified the pieces necessary to bring their project to life, Garat and Christian began developing an application that would allow the cosmetology program at Warren Central to improve organization and efficiency.

What was the purpose?

Warren Central students garat and christian collaborating on a project using CardBoard

Warren Central students garat and christian collaborating on a project using CardBoard

The purpose of the app is to track the hours that each student spends learning and practicing within the classroom so that the teachers can effectively award students with their cosmetology license.  As of now, the current software is a simple spreadsheet, and they were looking to have something more user-friendly and reliable.

The aim of the project is not just for benefit of Garat and Christian, nor is it simply just for the cosmetology department to have an improved tool.  They want to inspire students to work to create applications that are even better in the future.

For Warren Central, the best educational experience possible for their students is at the forefront of their mission. They search for opportunities that will allow their students to have a step ahead once they the enter the workforce or go on to pursue higher education.

Christian said, ”Being the motivation for future students would be a great honor to me because I wish for the tech field to advance as much as it can. The best way to do such is by getting more people involved.”

For Garat, “I want to believe that when future students see what high school students can do, they will also believe that they can create amazing programs as well.”

What did they learn?

Warren Central senior using CardBoard on keyboard

Warren Central senior using CardBoard

For the developers, they have been able to learn a lot from the experience. They have been able to get hands-on experience with databases and reinforce their front-end development while learning concrete ways to brainstorm and organize their ideas and tasks to get their application in the hands of the school much quicker, and much faster.  

Law continued by saying, “from research papers to daily todo-lists, anything you need to plan or think about prior to execution can be improved by use of story mapping products, like CardBoard.”

“The earlier students are introduced to the idea of design, the easier it becomes. Just like all skills, design, and planning is improved upon when practiced. Through my use of CardBoard, each time I work on a project, I find some other feature or use for the software. If students are exposed to planning and design earlier, it gives them more tools to use in all aspects of their lives.”

Want to get involved?

If you know any schools or are involved in education (high school and up) that would like to get involved with using CardBoard and user story mapping, please visit our Help Center to contact our team!

Ready to try CardBoard for yourself? Sign up to start your 14 day free trial!