Friday, 11 September 2015

Space scientists use lessons learned - at the age of 10!

Here is an interesting story about a couple of scientists who created a craft which reached the edge of space, and who (as good knowledge workers should) captured their lessons learned afterwards. The kicker is that they are only 8 and 10.

The young scientists' lessons log
image linked from Geekwire
(Thanks Vince for forwarding the story)


The story tells of two Seattle girls who designed, built and launched a balloon-powered craft which took a camera, a lego R2D2 and a picture of their cat Loki to the edge of space at 78000 feet, and then recovered the craft and the video footage.

The video below tells the whole story, but the part which most interests a knowledge management professional like me is that they captured their lessons learned afterwards.  The image to the right is their lessons log, linked from the geekwire article.

This is excellent practice, Should the two girl scientists build another craft, their lessons will help them to build on the success of their first launch, and exceed it in terms of height, flight duration and video record.

Lessons log


If you click on the picture you can see the details of the lessons. These are typical lessons from an After Action review, written as short sentences and as aides memoire for the same team to re-use in their next attempt. If these were lessons to share with other space scientists, the girls would need to go beyond statements like "use a bigger balloon" to actually define how big a balloon they think is needed, but if they are to use the lessons themselves, they have recorded what they need to consider.

It is interesting to see 11 lessons. If the girls can collect 11 great lessons from one balloon flight, then it makes a mockery of project managers saying "just give me the top three learning points". Top three are fine if you have only learned 3 things, but if you have learned 11 things, record them all!

Congratulations to the girls on their pioneering flight, and also to their mother and their father  for teaching them not only how to do good science, but also how to capture their knowledge for next time.




Contact Knoco for a free lessons log template

No comments:

Blog Archive