The Transforming tech science project required searching for a scientific event/project communicated to the public here at Georgia tech.
The document that caught our attention was a flyer on a bulletin board in CULC, offering 20$ to those who were interested in volunteering as subjects for a brain research test.
The document was clearly targeting students by offering a symbolic amount of money. Hence, their purpose is clear: trying to get LAB rats for their research. In fact, we visited their website and there was nothing directed to the general public. It was more like a research journal, displaying their research results in a very sophisticated and technical way: their purpose was purely research-driven.
In a second part, our task was to think about transforming the purpose and thus accommodate the genre to the new purpose we set. We thought that requesting funding was an interesting new purpose since every research lab needs money to sustain its activity. The purpose being set, we had to define the audience: we view the general public as a great target since brain research affects everyone. Most of our work then revolved around thinking about how to make brain research relevant to the public. In fact, if the audience feels concerned, it would be more likely to fund the research.
Choosing a website as the genre was really appropriate and effective. Today, everyone is connected and has access to websites, and that’s why we viewed it’d be a great broadcasting genre. Yet, building a website requires making a lot of choices: colors, language, hooks, layout, content… We had to reflect about all of these aspects, always thinking of how to make these components more attractive, user-friendly and appealing. This was similar to finding a marketing/rhetorical strategy (pathos/ethos/logos), striving to make the issue relevant to the public.
I must admit this project was my first as a group at Georgia Tech and I can honestly say that I am satisfied with this experience. For instance, everyone devoted himself more or less equally to the project and this let us move forward really fast. Moreover, organization was an important factor in the success of our project. As a group, we met since day one and set a plan and divided the tasks. We immediately described our strategy and our target to started working effectively. We met 3 times to synthetize together and met again on Sunday night to rehearse for the presentation.
On a personal note, this project helped me a lot in various ways. First, since I need time to write in English, my role in the group was definitely not being the main “writer”. I had to use my other strengths, which are analysis, organization and creativity. Indeed, my main contribution was setting up the rhetorical strategy and coming up with ideas for the website (interpretation skills). Along with Connor, we were the ones asking questions like “is it relevant to our audience? What should we add to earn credibility?”. We designed the layout and decided what our website’s pages should include, and I reflected on the script and the content (creativity). Regarding the organization part of the project, Connor and I were acting as leaders/coordinators, setting up a schedule, a time line and following up with each other member checking if the work was done.
This project was thus for me a real chance to outline my leadership skills along with interpretation, analysis, design, and creativity. Also, by checking up on my teammates’ work, I learnt and discovered new writing styles and techniques.
As a group, I am proud to say we succeeded in our work: everyone always did what they had to. Nevertheless, the main challenge we faced was scheduling meeting hours, as everyone has a busy schedule: finding hours and meeting rooms was an awful task. Yet, thanks to technology and social media, we were able to communicate and move forward without meeting physically: we had a group me where we shared our timeline and discussions. We created a drive accessible to each one to upload the material on and we designed Google docs as well.
Finally, possible enhancements could’ve been more content on some pages. If we had more time, we could’ve created more sophisticated and creative components for the website. Usually, a website or a mobile app has always updated versions, as there is always room for improvement. As a group, we came up with new ideas every day, but unfortunately we had to select the most important ones because of the time constraint.