Part 1: How to Brainstorm Youth Project Ideas

Part 1: How to Brainstorm Youth Project Ideas

Changing your community sounds cool, right? If you think so, where should you start?

The first step to teaming up with The Peterson League is coming up with an idea that will have a lasting impact on quality of life in Colorado Springs.

You may already have a stellar project idea in your head. If not, don’t fear. Coming up with a project idea can be a fun, creative experience that paves the way for a successful project.

If you don’t already have a project idea, brainstorming is a good place to start. This involves gathering all possibilities so you can later narrow them down to the perfect one. Brainstorming is commonly used in many different fields to aid in problem solving.

Start your brainstorming session with a space to write on. This may be a Word document, a notebook, or a whiteboard. Make sure this space is big enough. You’ll need a lot of space to write down all your awesome ideas!

An idea web!

An idea web!

Here are some tips for brainstorming project ideas:


Write down every idea that pops into your head

Brainstorming is fun because no idea is too silly to write down. Sometimes an idea you don’t end up using makes you think of an idea worth using.

When done right, brainstorming takes advantage of all the thoughts bouncing around your head. You’re writing everything down and making a space for these ideas. By making this space, you can take a step back and filter out the bad, or figure out how different ideas connect. We’ll do that later.



Think about what is happening in your community 

Take a walk around your neighborhood. What is a problem you see that you could help solve? This is often a good way to jog your brain and start thinking about what your community needs.

Read the local newspaper. What are people talking about? Read reports like the Pikes Peak Quality of Life Report to find out what the important issues are.  If any of these issues interest you, write them down.


Think about what you’re good at

Everyone is good at something. Once you specify your skills, you can think about projects related to them.

If you like to tinker with electronics, think about what you could build to change the quality of life in your community. If you are good at art, think about how you could use art to help others.



Start big and move smaller 

One way to approach brainstorming is to think of a general idea and think of smaller ideas branching off this larger idea.

On your piece of paper, put your big idea at top. This could be something you see in your community. Then, think of smaller pieces that might fit underneath this big idea. This is a way to come up with a list of possibilities.

Think of how a problem leads to a solution

Think of how a problem leads to a solution


Start small and move bigger

Other people might find it easier to think of a specific solution and branch outward. For example, if you have an idea for an invention, you can think about how this invention might benefit your community.

Instead of starting with a problem, start with a solution and work backwards.


Talk to other people

A large part of brainstorming means collecting ideas from others. Figure out what other people in your community think would benefit others in a lasting way. Ask your parents, teachers, and friends. Add these ideas or problems to your list.



The Take Away 

Not every tip will work for every young person. It’s best to find out what method works best for you and results in a list of possible project ideas.

Having a list means you have backup ideas if your original idea falls through. If your first idea is too difficult or expensive to execute, a good idea list saves you time spent going through the brainstorming process again.

After creating your list of project ideas, the next step is to pick the perfect one! We’ll get to this in Part 2.

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