Monday, October 27, 2014

Cadette MEdia Journey: Logo Fun

Recently my Cadettes started the MEdia Journey.  Much like the Netiquette Badge this Journey is right up their alley and really appeals to the teen crowd.  They love talking about all things techy and I have found I have learned a lot from the girls' savvy knowledge.

In our discussion of how social media can impact your life, you can't escape the fact that social media is a great avenue for advertising and marketing.  There are so many ways to advertise today and one of the most effective ways is an easily recognizable logo.  I asked the girls to give a definition of a Logo?  
LOGO - is considered the "face" of a company.  It is a symbol that is immediately recognizable. And it sums up a simple visual on what the company stands for.
Then I asked the girls what they thought they should consider when making an "effective" logo.

Today, there are many considerations when developing a logo.  The logo must be easily displayed across multiple mediums including print for magazines, neon signs, to internet uses.   So we spent an entire day talking about logos.  We talked about what makes a logo easily identifiable with a brand. To help the girls understand how important logos can be, I developed several puzzles and games to test their logo knowledge.  Many of the girls were surprised to find that they know far more logos than they thought from the most common logo like the McDonald's arches to recognizing the "e" in Google.

E Logo Quiz - CLICK HERE


Store Logo Game - CLICK HERE

Which Car?  CLICK HERE

Another fun activity would be to play the Logo Game which you can purchase from Wal-Mart for under $20.

Next, we discussed the 6 most common persuasion techniques and read the job description of an "Advertising Copywriter" in the GS MEdia  Journey.  We also read about the term "Advergaming" in the Journey.  I asked the girls to give examples of companies that use games to market their products. One girl suggested Webkinz which is a perfect example of using games to help advertise and attract customers, but there are many examples today.  

Finally, we recognized that media often overlaps, and it is advantageous to advertise across multiple media platforms.  Often times these platforms reach out and connect or draw people in from different backgrounds and experience.  For instance, the older generation might not use Facebook, but they probably use Goggle where people can advertise.  Or not every person visits Etsy, but they may find a product or recognize a logo on Pinterest.  If people see a logo across many social media tools then it only widens their awareness.

I had a marketing representative from our school district come and talk to the girls about our "Dragon" logo.  Here in the Southlake Carroll school district the Dragon is a great source of pride and is trademarked.  This is possible and cost effective because we have only one high school, therefore every school within the school district shares the Dragon mascot logo.  That means, if you buy a Dragon t-shirt in elementary, it can be worn for many years and to various functions from a varsity football game to an elementary field trip.  The school district decided to trademark or patent the Dragon logo to "brand" our school district and create revenue for the schools.  We learned quite a bit about the logo, it's history, when the logo can be used and who can use it.   We also learned that similar logos have been created that have infringed on other logos and this can create problems for businesses and schools.  One school in Florida tried to use the Dodge Ram as their logo and Dodge sent the school a letter of infringement and asked them not to use the logo to protect their own Dodge brand.   Typically 2 out of 3 characteristics must be different in order to use a logo.  Take the USC logo for example:
Southlake Carroll attempted to use a similar logo and USC sent a letter of infringement.  The school district thought simply changing the colors would prevent infringement.   However, in order to adhere to the 2 out of 3 characteristics stipulation, we must change the color and the font or the place the letters connect in order to use the logo.  Basically our school district decided it was not worth the controversy so they stopped producing products with the interlocking "SC".  Today we only use the Dragon logo.

At the end of our meeting the girls developed their "own" logo.  They could market themselves as is the case of singers or bands or they could market a product with their name like perfume.  I showed them my examples and they went to town creating fun , unique and eye catching logos using all the knowledge and tips they learned from our meeting. 

Feel free to use my notes to help start your discussions:

If you are unable to access Dropbox, simply e-mail me and I will send you all this information in pdf format:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cadette MEdia Badge: Inventions

As discussed in the MEdia Journey social media is a great avenue for marketing and advertising.  The world of social media has increased the possibility of getting an invention or new product into the hands of a very captive audience.  This past week we talked about inventions and what it takes to create a great new concept, system or product.  First, we reviewed the top ten inventions ever made. Then we talked about what makes an invention successful and some of the pitfalls that lead to failure. Next, we talked about whether it was important to patent an invention.  In an upcoming field trip we will visit a patent attorney at his office where he will share the patent process with the girls.

For leaders it is hard to believe that You Tube, Facebook, Pinterest and Etsy to name a few can have such a large impact on advertising.  This new form of communication has allowed some people and products to gain instant notoriety.  Ask the girls what social media tools are available to advertise and why some might be better than others.
We watched an episode of "Shark Tank" which really helped the girls understand that new inventions and products require capital or start-up money and how to "pitch" your product.
Send a Ball - Female Sisters that began sending balls in the mail.

What is the definition of an invention?
Webster Dictionary:  An “original”device or process
Invention is the creation of a NEW device, process or product

We talked about a girl their age who started a million dollar company:

Inventor your age:
Maddie Bradshaw a 5th grader couldn’t find any fun magnets to decorate her locker.   Her uncle gave her a bag of bottle caps and she got an idea to glue a picture inside one and attach a magnet.  Soon friends wanted them for their lockers.  Next she made necklaces for her friends for Birthday gifts.  
Maddie will soon be going to college and she is a millionaire. She is the owner, along with her younger sister Margot and her mom, of the company M3 Girl Designs.  They sell many Snap Caps® products across the United States to young girls who want to have some fun.  Snap Caps® can be worn as necklaces, bracelets, in hairpins, on ribbons and  picture frames. Now that Maddie is older, she has designed a new line of jewelry for teenaged girls called Spark of Life™.

What I love about Maddie is that she believes in sharing her success with others. She has written a book called “You Can Start a Business. Too!”. Who knows, maybe you have an idea percolating away in your brain and the book can help you to become a millionaire!

What does “Creating” an invention involve?
Identifying Problems
Problem Solving
Critical Thinking
Following a Process

Top 10 inventions:
Telephone  Computers
Cotton gin
Steam Engine
Sewing Machine
Light Bulb

Top 10 ways you can fail as an inventor:  
Fail to record your inventing progress in a journal or log book
You can’t earn money from an “idea” you must create a prototype and market your product.
Avoid hiring one company to promote or build your invention
Do an “Invention Assessment” determine the likelihood it will succeed.  Don’t sell your house to invest in a dream.  
Don’t reveal your invention too soon
Conduct a search for prior art, determine whether someone has developed your idea.
Patent vs Not to Patent - some argue patents take too much time & are too expensive & are rarely profitable  ex. of successful product without a patent: Rubik’s Cube
Avoiding bad patents.  This legal document protects your idea, the better the patent documentation the more protection your patent will produce.
Often times inventors can be a little quirky.  Appearance and professionalism is important in promoting your invention
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:  when trying to sell or license your invention you should select at least 20-30 buyers.Important Female Inventors

We also talked about how important research can be you don't want to spend time and money on an invention that is already being marketed.  I once thought I had created a great tool for pulling elastic through a hem.  I used a piccolo tuning rod and attached a safety pin and then ran the safety pin through the elastic.  I have used this for years and it is super helpful so my daughters told me I should market it.  

A quick internet search led to disappointment when I found out the product already exists:
It is called a Bodkin

I created some FUN Trivia Sheets as handouts:
Toy Invention Mix & Match
Inventors Trivia Fun
If you would like a copy of my notes to help guide your discussion CLICK HERE

Finally I showed the girls my invention I created:
The ALL in one Washer/Dryer which saves space, time and money.  Once the wash cycle is complete the washer empties and then the dryer turns on.  (Why hasn't this been invented?)

The girls then had to create their own invention.  They were given a scratch sheet of paper for their rough draft and a shiny brochure piece of paper for their final project.  They used markers and sharpies to complete this project.  We hope to show these to the patent attorney for his opinion on their success.
The girls created the following:

Sneakers that released bubbles as you walk
Beds created into objects like dinosaurs and unicorns
An assembly line of cooking items that slice, blend and cook foods
A high Heel shoe that you can flatten the heel so your shoe can be worn as flats or as an heel

*** If for any reason you are unable to view or download my notes and trivia, simply e-mail me at and I will send the files via e-mail

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Howdy and I am BACK!  After a nice long summer and avoiding the computer as much as I can, I finally kicked off the year.  My oldest daughter is now in Middle School, quite the transition.  And our service unit thought it was a grand idea to have a camp out this 3rd weekend of school!  It was FUN, but taxing and required a great deal of planning and coordination!  All of this kept me quite BUSY!  So what do I have in store for my girls this year....

Anyone doing the Cadette MEdia Journey this year?  Well we are and I think it is going to be a lot of fun based on my girls response to the Netiquette Badge last year.  This is their world - MEdia.  They are inundated with technology and this is a time for leaders to get a grasp on their reality and possibly make a big impact on how MEdia influences their lives.  So I have created a fun calendar for the girls and you are welcome to mirror or swipe some of my ideas.

As the girls have aged crafts and meetings are less enticing to the older girls, but we still have to have meetings to educate, remind the girls about the GS values, address general business and complete our Silver Award.  In order to mix it up and maintain their interest I have scheduled a field trip every other meeting.

My first meeting of the year I introduced the MEdia Journey and we talked briefly about the Journey. I included these topics:

Definition of Media
I had a poster board and allowed the girls to write down different forms of media in marker, from TV to bus signs to billboards to facebook, all the different forms of MEdia.
Then we talked about how much they think media affects or influences them?
I asked them have they ever watched TV and wanted a product from a commercial they probably did not need?
We then viewed several "As Seen on TV" infomercials and the girls immediately wanted the Wubble Bubble and Squeezy Freezy!  Then we watched YouTube Reviews of these products to find out if they really do what they say they will do.  Finally the girls LOVED watching a segment of the Ellen Show where she talked about the crazy products she bought late at night.

Wubble Bubble:
Squeezy Freezy:
Ellen Show:

I also posed these questions:
How much does media influence your life on the weekends, Summer, at school?
How much do you surf the web, watch internet videos or TV, go to the movies, browse on your phone, listen to pandora, download music, visit Instagram

Ask yourself these questions:
How many texts did you receive in the past week?
When you take a trip on a plane or in a car, what is your 1st inclination? To talk to your family, observe people and surroundings? Watch overhead video? Grab your phone or tablet?
School is cancelled because of snow?  Do you dress warmly and run outside to enjoy the snow?  Curl up on your bed with a real book?  Watch a rented movie?  Retreat to your room for a day of online chatting with your friends?  Develop a new Pinterest Board?
How much TV do watch on the weekends?  Too busy with sports, I have certain shows I record and like to watch, I watch anything and everything, I sleep with the TV on

Pg 15 Selena Gomez
If you were a celebrity and could use your notoriety to do good, what cause or organization would you want to donate your time or money?

Can you believe black & white TV was once the cool new thing!  Imagine how quickly new things are discovered and invented.  
What things have been invented during your lifetime?
The 1st cell phone used in 1984 weighed 2lbs, measured 13in long and 3in wide and cost $4000
In 2007 the first e-reader was introduced and changed the way books are read, bought, carried and shared
Later these 2 things were combined
When it comes to media, what updates are you grateful for? What has inspired, entertained 

or has educated you?

The next meeting we went on a field trip to Design Werks here in Southlake, TX.  This is a company built from the ground up by an innovative man named, Jeff Nicodemus.  He developed the company that uses vinyl to wrap and advertise cars.  Mr. Nicodemus was fabulous with the girls.  He was inspirational and enthusiastic and showed the girls everything about his company from editing photos to designing the car wraps to choosing the vinyl, printing the vinyl and cutting the vinyl and then finally the actual application.  It was probably the most interesting field trip to date, my daughter said she LOVED it.  This was a great way to show the girls how advertising affects them and how it can be applied.  

Next we have a field trip scheduled to Day Star Radio, a newspaper office where they plan to feature our girls Silver Award in a story for the newspaper.  We will walk through the process of creating a story from photos to writing the article to publishing.  I have a patent attorney and logo graphics guy coming to talk to the girls at a meeting.

The girls will create their own infomercial, logo and product too.