Feb. 14 Post 4

  1. Based on your life experience, skills, and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like?


I’m more self-discipline and more efficient when using visual memory, so I prefer to create a mind map to carry on my plan. In high school’s chemistry class, I encountered mind maps for the first time. It offers me great help during revision time. I’m in love with the colorful pattern and clear size change of the main topic and the sub-themes. Creating a mind map could train my summarizing ability and logical thinking. A mind map shows bullet points step by step, so I could quickly recap whenever I review it.


  1. Identify your three most important stakeholders and list five UNIQUE attributes for each one of them.


My top three most important stakeholders are women in jail, people in the community, and the social justice theater.

For women in jail, they have the same gender, the same lifestyle, and generally similar social class. On the other hand, they are from different races, and their motives are different.

For people in Lehigh Valley, they have the same residence, generally similar social class, and the same region of the country. On the other hand, they have different lifestyles and different races.

For the social justice theater, the workers and audience have the same interest in arts, similar income levels, and similar attitudes. On the other hand, they have different personality traits and different opinions on the play.


  1. Identify three ways in which you will validate your project concept, technology, usability, and business model.


My project concept is to arouse people’s awareness of the mass incarceration of women in the US. We will focus on a specific audience. For example, people in Lehigh Valley, especially in Lehigh University, will understand our idea. We are just starting to let more people know about the current situation by carrying out plays and discussions. Organizations and theaters believe it will be successful.

We are not using technology to carry out our play in the theater.

For usability model validation, it will be easy for stakeholders to interact with our final play because there will be a discussion session after it. Through our propaganda, an estimation of 100 audiences will come to watch our play. What they’ve learned will be maintained in their memories.

For business model validation, we aim to reduce the incarceration rate, but this is a significantly difficult real problem. We will face political burdens because the government earns revenue from prisons. We will have an after-play donation, and we hope everyone could donate about $3-$5.


  1. Give three examples of something very interesting you learned from a friend that was a completely alien concept to you.

I learned in class that in some Japanese restaurants, customers pay for the one behind.

Before planning to go abroad, my friend told me that normally, American people only drink cold water. In Eastern culture, we are used to drinking warm or hot water.

I was told that 24-hour shops are rare in the US, but in Shanghai, 24/7 supermarkets are almost everywhere.


Feb. 6 Post 3-Weilin

  1. List the top 20 questions your team needs to answer to advance the venture forward. Categorize the questions if necessary.

We LVSIF members are from three different projects: Beyond Bars, Immersive Virtue Reality, and First-Generation University Students. Each project has given several questions.


1) How can we impact the local community?

7) How do you maximize the reach of local projects?

12) How can university students make a difference in the local community?


Beyond Bars:

2) What’s the problem with the social justice system in the U.S.?

6) What causes mass incarceration in the U.S.?

10) How does cultural diversity affect our community?

15) What’s the relationship between the living conditions and the rate of incarceration?


Immersive VR:

4) How can immersive VR impact learning at Lehigh University?

5) How can immersive VR affect learning for disengaged students?

9) What other ways can immersive VR be used to change methods of education?

11) How difficult might it be to implement immersive VR in a public school?

13) To what extent video gaming practices could help/hinder the Lehigh immersive VR project development?


First Gen:

3) How can higher education impact low-income communities?

8) How does social media/other online sub-cultures affect students’ points of view about higher education?

14) What specific social values/customs that may prevent a low-income student to pursue high education?



  1. Develop and Visualize the Theory of Change (Logic Model) for your venture.

For Beyond Bars Project, our stakeholders are women in prison or work in prison, experts studying the social justice system in the U.S., student researchers, actors, police chief, theatres such as Icehouse, and organizations such as Mustard & Cheese and Pride Center.

Our input is time and research. For example, we will visit the Northampton Prison, talk to Doctor Bonnie, organize the play, and reach out to different organizations.

Our resources include Lehigh University, organizations, theatres, and the community.

For output, we plan to have a discussion in the Pride Center with people who are interested in this project. After that, we are going to arrange a play in the social justice center, Icehouse. There will be a donation after play, and we decide to donate the money to the Northampton Prison.

The expected outcome is to reduce the incarceration rate and the recidivism rate. We hope to raise people’s awareness and understanding of the mass incarceration situation in the U.S. through our efforts. If we succeed in arousing the audience’s empathy, there might be less discrimination.



  1. Develop an M&E plan for your venture.


1) 100 audience for the play

2) Complete the discussion in the Pride Center

3) Donation



1) Decrease the incarceration rate

2) Reduce discrimination and possible conflicts

3) Lower the recidivism rate

Jan. 30 Post 2

Jan. 30 Post 2


Effect of Cultural Issues

In my project, LVSIF: Beyond Bars, we are investigating women in the Northampton County Prison. Though the United States is a strongly developed country, it still has a big problem with mass incarceration. After the 1970s, the imprisonment rate is rising rapidly while crime is decreasing. Now, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. There are several cultural issues that influence this project.

First, the United States has a typical drug and alcohol culture. It is common sense that some states don’t ban marijuana. In many American artworks such as raps and movies, we often see people taking drugs and teenagers under 21 drinking secretly using fake IDs. This cultural issue could be a factor causing a high crime rate and a high incarceration rate in America.

Second, American citizens are allowed to buy guns. According to some studies, nearly 1/3 of the world’s public mass shootings occurred in the United States. The mass incarceration could be a result.

Last but not least, the US is a diverse country that involves different races and large LGBTQ+ groups. I’ve learned in my English class that people of color make up 70% of the US prison population, and LGBTQ+ people are overrepresented within the prison complex. Discrimination could be an issue. I’m curious to find out more reasons for this problem.

My Experience

I come from Shanghai, China. China has an extremely strict anti-drug law and very wide propaganda against drugs. More and more Chinese people have developed a strong awareness of the harm of drugs. Even when a famous person is found taking drugs, no matter the celebrity is Jaycee (Jackie Chan’s son) or PG One (the champion of The Rap of China), he/she will be blacklisted forever.

China also bans guns. People take this issue seriously. Once I was taking a walk with my mother, she suddenly felt a sharp pain on her right calf. Fortunately, she was not injured. When we turned around, we saw someone from the building behind quickly closed the windows. Our neighbors said that it was an air gun, and they were hit before as well. We called the police immediately. They arrived in three minutes and arrested the air gun owners.

Furthermore, China has a relatively less diverse environment than America. People in our neighborhood are all from one race. In one region, we have a similar economic level and education level. In class, we discussed that for Chinese people, the most important thing is harmony. A harmonic atmosphere is really important to us. We establish good relationships with our neighbors and try to avoid trouble. In the place where I live, conflicts hardly happen.

Effective Cultural Practices

First of all, there is already the War on Drugs carrying on in America. In order to reduce the population attracted by drugs, the US needs more moral education and propaganda against drug and alcohol abuse. Teenagers are easy to be affected by pop culture products, so people also need to supervise and to control the words or scenes about drugs and alcohol.

Secondly, it is really unrealistic to ban all the guns, but the black sheep are illegal guns instead of the legal ones. The US citizens have to go through a difficult process to buy a gun, but things are different in the black markets. The government and police forces should pay more attention to registration for purchasing guns and where the guns go after production. For ordinary people, we must keep alert to our surroundings, and learn more skills to defend ourselves from weapons.

Thirdly, more moral education upon minority groups is required in order to eliminate discrimination. People from minority groups are often bullied and ignored. They usually face many more obstacles in their life. After trying to put myself into their shoes, I realized that it is very likely for them to be driven by revenge. If they commit crimes, others will have deeper discrimination on them. To break the vicious cycle, we need more education and more policies that benefit people from minority groups.

Jan. 24-Post 1

Jan. 24-Weekly Post 1



The Motivation


In the first class, I noticed that most of us said we wanted to make a difference in the world. To me, I enrolled in LVSIF because I would like to start from my surroundings, helping people around me and bringing a positive impact on my neighborhood. This project is a perfect platform for me to realize my dream to speak for myself and the minority group. This dream is built by my past experiences.

At the age of 7, I was beaten by two boys. They threatened me not to tell others, but my teacher discovered my bruises later and asked me to explain everything. Regarding the severity of bullying, the teachers gave the boys the punishment they deserved. For half a month, the boys came to my class every day and apologized sincerely to me. For the first time, I learned that when I feel being oppressed, I should be brave enough to defend my rights.

As I grew up, I attempted to speak for myself and, under most circumstances, I achieved satisfying results. My confidence increased and I gained a sense of achievement. This motivated me to offer more help and to arouse awareness of individuals’ rights.

In my high school, the majority of my schoolmates disliked school meals due to relatively poor sanitation and flavor. As a monitor who believed that her responsibility was to improve students’ living conditions, I offered to start the investigation. First, I gathered viewpoints from both sides. I made electronic questionnaires to collect students’ feedback, and I had interviews with canteen employees. Then, I showed the overall results to everyone in the school. The information formed a bridge of communication between canteen workers and students. The workers would know the preferences of most students and try to improve. As well, the students would understand the efforts of workers who began work at 3 AM and left at 9 PM. Both sides were willing to reach a compromise and looked forward to progress in the future. I learned more about self-examination, and I developed a positive mindset. I can now analyze problems from multiple angles and reflect on myself. My attitude towards life should be perseverant and humble. I will break through the barriers and charge forward.


My Envision


I have grown from a timid girl who was afraid to speak for herself into a brave person who not only stands out for herself but also helps others. I established my life motto of doing something meaningful that contributes to the improvement of people’s standard of living. Through this project, I will learn more about the world and be more concerned about human well-being. I believe I can gain more courage and confidence to help disadvantaged groups that need a speaker. As a member of the minority groups, it is easier for me to put myself into other’s shoes and to speak for them. I want to learn more about how to help people around me, and I will devote my heart and soul into it.


Eyeglasses Problem


In this case, there are mainly 2 problems in Kenya. First, they lack eyeglasses. Second, they lack optometrists.

For the first problem, organizations, charities, and people from developed countries could donate money to produce more glasses for Kenya. In addition, scientists need to develop better technology to lower the cost of eyeglasses.

For the second problem, there are organizations that send doctors and medical experts to less developed areas. We need to support and encourage their actions. Sending more optometrists to Kenya might be a useful solution. Furthermore, Kenya people need the education to acknowledge the importance of eyeglasses. So, more teachers should be sent there to educate the local people and to make them aware.