StoryCamp welcomed over 100 students to participate in multimodal story design competition.

Monday, November 18, 2019

More than 135 registrants from Waterloo's main campus, the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business and other institutions, descended upon the Stratford School Saturday morning to participate in StoryCamp, a 15-hour design competition on multimodal storytelling.

Participants were challenged to create a story with the theme of community and connectivity that followed an assigned story arc. Under the mentorship of industry experts, in a broad range of disciplines—including visual storytelling, social media, user experience, game design, branding and business—students crafted their stories in 3 different modes. The event culminated in the teams pitching their creations to a panel of judges.Team working in project room with laptops on tables, and scribble of ideas on whiteboard.

"Experiences like this make our program unique, and the student experience here at the Stratford School invaluable," notes professor Laura Fong, one of the key organizers of the event.

Throughout the hackathon-style event, workshops on cultural storytelling and the importance of storytelling in business, design, and working in teams were delivered.

"I normally avoid group projects because of my fear [I'm] not able to contribute to my teams, but this time, I actually enjoyed [the] team project! My team was very supportive and helped each other in developing the product." wrote Akshar Goyal, Bachelor of Math student on his LinkedIn page.

"We had mentors and workshop leaders join us from many industries and disciplines, and even as far away as Malmo, Sweden to make this happen." said Fong.

One mentor, Jennie Heo, from IBM, posted on LinkedIn, "It was great to see students from different disciplines and skills collaborating together, brainstorming and aligning on their ideas. Learning how to blend diverse perspectives and create a unified story is an invaluable lesson for us all!"

The winning team, CommUNITY (comprised of Aleksandra Raznatovic, Noah Pratt, Francis Boehmer, Noor Mubarak, Jessica Silverberg, Colleen Yu and Layth Fanek), created a social movement to help people have a sense of belonging in their community. It was selected out of 15 teams and over 100 participants.

The interdisciplinary teams in StoryCamp and the universal importance of storytelling were foundational to the event's success. Check out the winning teams, project submissions, and mentors.

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