Mix some high school girls together, encourage their mutual interest, challenge them to create something and the end result might be something like Recycled Sounds.
It flowed from Steminists, a 16-week pilot project in Kamloops between Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC) and Arrow Transportation to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics — commonly referred to as STEM — to high school girls.
Recycled Sounds is an eco-friendly, hands-free wooden smartphone stand. It uses reclaimed wood and was designed and engineered to capture and amplify sound.
Program co-ordinator Kara Wright said the girls came up with the idea from their “collective desire to watch Netflix in bed on our smartphones hands-free.”
Key to the design was also finding the right angle to watch in comfort.
They are selling them online and at various events in the city, including at the Brewloops Block Party this Saturday and at the Kamloops Farmers’ Market on June. 9.
The wooden smartphone stands are available online at recycledsounds.blog.
They sell in a classic stained or unstained version for $20 and can be customized for another $5.
The Steminists program came to Kamloops courtesy of Jackie Charles who had been volunteering with JABC for some time.
Charles had been presenting JABC’s Economics for Success program to students in the Lower Mainland.
The program is designed for students in grades eight to 10, showing them why they not only need to stay in school, but how they can learn skills that can help them plan for success in the workforce.
With that experience in mind, there was no question Arrow Transportation, where Charles is the chief information officer, would partner with JABC for a pilot project in Kamloops promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics for high school girls.
Steminists started earlier this year. It includes weekly two-hour sessions in which students are taught to brainstorm, design, market and sell a STEM-related product or service.
Caroline Kaiser, marketing and communications specialist at Arrow, said the company “was definitely all over it” when asked, not only because of Charles’ involvement, but because the company wanted to take steps to increase the number of women who find jobs in the transportation industry.
It also uses technology in many ways “so everything just fits,” Kaiser said.