Students learn to cope with stress from UCI Tenacity Project

A small cohort of students tested two apps that focus on stress management.

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In early April, students from math teacher Mrs. Sherry Skipper’s classes were given the opportunity to volunteer themselves for a project known as the UCI Tenacity Flow Project. Students who wanted to participate were notified in a weeks advance and randomly selected by raffle.

At the first meeting, the UCI tech team handed out Apple watches and introduced two apps that they were currently developing.  The apps went by the name of “Lotus” and ”Breathe.”

The team wanted to produce apps that could relieve people of stress because stress is a constant area of concern for school-aged children.  The apps were very simple and were meant to be something to simply keep your hands busy and your mind off struggles.

At the meeting, students were told how the apps were meant to be used and given the chance to try them out.  For about 30 minutes to an hour, students experimented with the functions of both apps. After the given time, students were asked to provide feedback on the apps.

Students were encouraged to give feedback at the meeting.  Ideas about how the apps seemed too simplistic, concerns about glitches, and even thoughts on how more colors would make apps more appealing were all offered by students.

After receiving the student feedback, the UCI team took back the watches and gave the volunteers a $25 dollars Amazon gift card as a thank-you for participating.

About two weeks later, another meeting was scheduled.  The UCI team returned with improvements and further developments of the apps, using the advice and feedback given by students.  However, this time, the watches were not collected at the end of the meeting.  Students were told to keep an experiment with the watches over a two week period.

When the two weeks were over, students were called back to a final meeting.  At this meeting, a last discussion about the apps took place.  The meeting concluded with a decision that the apps were developed to a high degree and will continue to be worked on until they are ready for release to the general public.

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