Brooklyn Design League Starts Strong in 2020!

Brooklyn Design League is a tech and design extracurricular program for high schoolers that launched in January 2020. Since we have gone virtual, we have students from the High School of Service & Learning at Eramus, the Academy of College Prep at Erasmus, and New Utrecht High School and are open to more! 


As part of Mouse’s greeted Design League community, we utilize their Design With a Purpose curriculum to understand the human-centered design process and create an invention that helps the community. At the end of the semester, we submit our project to a technology design conference with peers called, Emoti-con! Here is a description of the app we made in spring 2020: 


FreeTime is an app that inspires people with activities and interesting facts to cope with boredom during COVID-19. As a Brooklyn team, many of us are isolated inside and want help to stay motivated while in quarantine. We made FreeTime to change the way our users spend their time during the pandemic. 


Before we moved to remote learning, we were using the human-centered design process to create assistive tech for those with cerebral palsy. Empathy had a big influence on our team when deciding how to pivot our invention for virtual sessions. We decided that it would be useful to create an app that would help people during the current crisis. 


Through our Google Slide prototype, we emulate the ideal user experience for FreeTime as a mobile app. Each user makes an account after a questionnaire, where we learn more about their interests. Users then pick a category and the FreeTime generator provides a quote, activity, or fact to occupy their mind. Here, we link to Glitch websites that we coded together by making a JavaScript generator. As a group, we picked our logos from The Noun Project website and a color scheme using Adobe Color. In the future, we would expand the categories, sections for games, journal entries, rewards, and add a security feature.


Link to app:


Link to video:


Link to Instagram:


Journal entries from students about app design experience: 


  1. Alexander: This quarantine has made me gain not too much time on my side since I am a student with exams and classes to take, but with the free time I have always garnered, I have been wanting to be productive. I used to be stressed a lot with the thousands of assignments I had to complete by a weekday’s end but now since I found myself interesting activities to participate in, I am now less stressed.
  2. Ruba: Today is 5/18/2020 and we are still in quarantine and the coronavirus is still taking over the world. It’s like everyone is trapped inside of their house, with the highest level of boredom in people’s minds. So BCCP decided to create an app that will help get rid of people’s boredom. I really hope this app will help many people in different ways. The process of making this was incredible and great, I was able to experience teamwork and collaboration. Hopefully this app brings success.   
  3. Kimone: Being a part of creating this app has been a wonderful and fun experience. The process was pretty simple and fun. Also, we all put in our ideas and came up with a brilliant app that focuses on boredom and motivation. After a long brainstorming, we thought of the name “FreeTime” which fits the app 100% because being stuck at home leaves you with a whole bunch of free time. To wrap the journal entry up, my experience was pretty fun and I’d do it again.