An Enrichment Project innovator either creates or substantially contributes to a badge program. Badges for this program are the design of the badge worked on with a blue background.
The steps for this badge can also be used to review badges to make sure they fit into the Enrichment Project and are comparable to other badge programs available.
Do you have a subject you excel at or are passionate about? Brainstorm your own list of badge programs that you think you could create. On a separate list, brainstorm badges you’d like to earn, but you need to research to create them. From your lists, pick out one. Work through the steps below to create your badge program.
NOTE: Badge programs are limited to 10-15 steps.
2. Narrow topic.
Just like a good term paper or speech, if your topic is too broad your exposure won’t be enough to learn anything. Focus your topic. Ask yourself if the members earning your badge will go away with something they can use. Would a more concentrated program on one area work better?
For example, paper crafting is a huge industry. While you could do an “Paper Craft Explorer” to get an overview of the industry and to try a few small projects, doing a badge on “Scrapbooking” would give someone interested in just that one topic a lot more information.
NOTE: Both of these are already badge programs.
Why would a member choose to earn your badge? Write out your answer. This will become the introduction to your badge.
Are there enough steps and activities to give the member 40+ hours of fun in your topic? Remember, the levels are:
- Discover (3-10 hours)
- Explore (11-25 hours)
- Connect (26-39 hours)
- Complete (40+ hours)
If your topic is too narrow, can you add a step that is related to your topic to help broaden understanding of it?
Does your badge program have steps to discover a new field of interest? What can you discover?
- The world
- New skills
Through the steps of your badge program, how will the members explore?
- As a group
After discovering a new topic, or perhaps only a part of your topic, the member needs to continue to engage with it. They will explore the topic in greater detail. As they connect, it needs to become part of them. They may choose to connect by:
- Sharing with others
- Teaching others
- Enjoying it themselves to a greater depth
- Using it as a jumping block to learn something else
- Creating an event
We have seventeen categories. Often, you’ll find your badge program may fit into more than one category. Choose the category that you feel most reflects your program. Review the list and determine where it will go. Badges that cannot be separated or cover three or more badge categories are placed in “General.”
- Games / Sports
- Hobbies / Recreation
- Performing Arts
- Personal / Home
- Recipes / Nutrition
- World / Culture
Do you have a friend who is willing to try new things? Perhaps you work with a youth organization, senior citizens group or even homeschoolers. Ask others to either try it or, at the least, review it.
Expect critical feedback. If someone cares enough to ask questions or make comments, they are helping you improve your badge program. Keep note of what your reviewers say and determine if their comments pertain to your badge program and if you can adjust it to make it better. Also, make sure you say “thank you”, even if the feedback isn’t helpful.
If you aren’t a great proofreader, ask someone else to do it. Any questions you might have should follow the “Chicago Manual of Style” or an equivalent resource.
The steps you create, sites you suggest and even graphics all need to be provided to Laura at larajla <at> gmail <dot> com. I’ll do a second proofread, send you questions, etc. If I find the subject unacceptable, it will not be included. Subject areas such as politics, religion, sexual orientation, etc. are beyond the scope of the badge programs.
Innovator badges can also be earned by making significant adjustments to a badge. The innovator would take the original badge and review any and all the comments they may have as well as his / her own critical thinking on the badge. The innovator may make the following decisions from the review made:
- Adjustments fall within steps and need incorporated as additional copy or a supplement
- Adjustments require steps to be added, but still remain a single badge program
- Adjustments require steps to be added, but needs to be broken into more than one badge program
- Adjustments require that the badge has become too broad to be effective and the entire set needs a full review
If the adjustments require creation of new program(s), determine if a general one should remain or if there is enough information to create multiple specific badges. You can ask members who contributed to the adjustments if you are unsure for their opinions. You can also ask me for feedback at larajla <at> gmail <dot> com.
14. Review and test.
Review your final work by going through the steps in the “Create” section above. Test to make sure everything works. Make adjustments as needed.
NOTE: Making minor adjustments for typographical errors, grammatical errors or a simple addition / removal does not constitute innovation.
- Avery 2.5” round label printable, 12 up
- Badge checklist
Sites to Explore
Get the infographic here > larajla blog post
Get the PDFs of the badge program / supplements here > Full badge PDFs