Cloud Club

Productive DayDreaming IN SCHOOLS

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FROM LEFT: Paula Intravaia, Jed Robinson, Nancy Zheng, Stephan Somers

FROM LEFT: Paula Intravaia, Jed Robinson, Nancy Zheng, Stephan Somers



The Cloud Club was founded during the 2019 San Diego Service Jam and won The People’s Choice Award for best Jam.

The Service Jam is an annual event where design thinking enthusiasts in 100+ cities worldwide participate in a weekend of using service design tools to solve community problems as part of the Global Service Jam. “Jammers” are designers, artists, business people, mothers, community members, students, humans and citizens. They meet with one goal in mind: to create, prototype, and publish a new service in less than 48 hours.

The Jam included practitioner “flash talks” from design pioneer Don Norman and others along with tactical coaching and mentorship from practitioners and scholars of design.



Since the Jam, the Cloud Club has been testing the use of productive daydreaming at Carmel Del Mar Elementary school. We have tested 8 classes from kindergarten to 5th grade.

We plan on continuing to test Cloud Club into the summer during summer school sessions and hope to be implemented into the curriculum in the Fall of 2019


Ideation Part 1

The idea for Cloud Club was formed when our group of four compiled our ideas and came up with the goal of combating the stigma of daydreaming in schools.

We started by putting all of our ideas about daydreaming on post it notes. Whatever came to our minds, whether it was what daydreaming meant to us, or how we believe it is viewed in society.


User Interviews & ANALYSIS

After ideating what daydreaming meant to us, we hit the streets of Downtown San Diego to interview some pedestrians about daydreaming. We were able to interview about 10 adults and 6 children. We asked them what daydreaming means to them and what their opinion of daydreaming in schools is.

We then put our findings from our brainstorming and the interviews onto post it notes and categorized them on the whiteboard walls. We looked for common themes and patterns in order to learn how the general public feels about daydreaming.

We broke up the post it notes into a few common categories we found such as mindfulness, technology, timing, positives, negatives, goal-oriented, and location, among others. With our findings in these categories, we began to find many trends and themes.



  • People were overwhelmingly positive in their thoughts about daydreaming

  • There is an overwhelming stigma about daydreaming in schools

  • Most people believe daydreaming is a great mindfulness exercise and some compared it to meditation

  • Most people believe that daydreaming is very beneficial for creativity and learning

  • Although most parents believe that daydreaming is positive, they believe other parents think it is negative

  • Kids love to daydream, and some see it as a way to rebel against their teachers

  • People believe they do not have enough time to daydream for it to be productive



After analyzing the data collected from our user interviews, we brainstormed what service we should create to combat the stigma surrounding daydreaming, as well as bring daydreaming into schools in a productive manner.

In order to come up with our problem statement we used practices such as How Might We Statements, Crazy 8’s, and created UX artifacts such as empathy maps.


Problem Statement

Students are trying to engage their minds and avoid boredom at school; however, they get in trouble for daydreaming. As a result, students believe daydreaming is a negative thing, even though they enjoy it.



We created the Cloud Club In order to combat the stigma surrounding daydreaming and bring daydreaming to schools in a productive manner.

We believe that allowing student’s to let their minds wander for a certain amount of time (5-15 minutes) per day will increase student engagement, as well as benefit students mental health.

Cloud Club is a time where students are encouraged to daydream and think about whatever they want. They are expected to stay silent, and separated from their fellow classmates. In a world where kids have their heads constantly buried in phones, video games, or TV, it is necessary to give them an opportunity to sit back and do some inward reflection.



For our prototype, we created an environment for our fellow ‘Jammers’ to take a break from the 48-hour grind that is the Service Jam.

We had one of our group members (Paula) lead the session and act as teacher. The ‘students’ were asked to sit or lay down and spend the next 5 minutes in silence. We offered ‘thought clouds’ to the users in case they wanted something to think about; however, they were encouraged to think about whatever they wanted.

After 5 minutes of Cloud Club time, we asked our users to reflect on their experience and then return to work.



Over the past 2 months we have been testing Cloud Club with elementary school classes from the Carmel Del Mar School. We have tested with about 8 classes from kindergarten to 5th grade. We were able to do multiple testing days with half of the classes.

Our testing strategies varied depending on the age of the specific class; however, the overall testing was process was the same.


  1. Be quiet! Do not disturb your fellow classmates who are daydreaming!

  2. Be in your own space. Do not sit right next to a classmate, give yourself at least a few feet of space.

  3. Let your mind wander! Think about whatever you want, or about the thought cloud we provided!


The Process

The first step in our testing was to introduce Cloud Club to the students and explain what the goals of Cloud Club are. We had the teachers help getting the students settled down and then spoke about daydreaming and why we were there. Depending on time constraints we had open ended dialogues about daydreaming and what it meant to the students.

The next step in our testing was to have the students complete a worksheet with some basic questions. The depth of the questions varied depending on the students age, however we were looking to find out how the students were feeling at the time, and their opinions on daydreaming in general, as well as in a school setting.

We would then bring the students outside (or stay inside if raining) and do 5-10 minutes of Cloud Club time.

After Cloud Club we had the students come back into the classroom and complete the second half of the worksheet. We again asked questions about how the students are feeling. How creative they are feeling, what they daydreamed about, if they daydreamed, and if they think it is appropriate in schools.


Over the course of our Cloud Club tests we found some very interesting results. We were even able to identify a student who was feeling depressed and bring it to her teacher and parents attention.

We focused our research on the students current wellbeing, as well as how they viewed daydreaming in general, as well as in schools.


"How do you feel right now on a scale of 1-5?"

152 students were asked before and after Cloud Club
  • 152 students were asked “How are you feeling right now on a scale of 1-5” before and after Cloud Club

  • 50% (76 students) had a higher rating out of 5 after Cloud Club.

  • 35.5% (54 students) stayed the same rating before and after daydreaming.

  • 14.5% (22 students) said they felt worse after Cloud Club. **This was often due to peer distractions or poor weather**

"How creative do you feel on a scale of 1-5?"

43 students were asked before and after Cloud Club
  • 43 students were asked “How creative do you feel on a scale of 1-5” before and after Cloud Club.

  • 46.5% (20 students) said they felt more creative after Cloud Club.

  • 41.8% (18 students) said felt the same level of creativity before and after Cloud Club.

  • 11.6% (5 students) said they felt less creative after Cloud Club.



We sent a short survey to the teachers who participated in Cloud Club a few questions about their classes’ experience with Cloud Club and we got extremely positive feedback. We are currently setting up interviews with the teachers to get more in depth feedback.

100% of teachers who responded said that they would like to continue to implement Cloud Club into their curriculum.

100% of teachers who responded said that the overall class experience with Cloud Club was positive.

50% of teachers who responded recommended we do Cloud Club every day when asked “Do you have any suggestions to improve the Cloud Club experience?”

After becoming dysregulated from an argument with a friend this morning, (my student) was asked to choose a coping strategy. She chose Cloud Club all on her own. I realize now that this is the PERFECT coping strategy for her.
— Social Emotional Academic Support Teacher
Time to slow down and be mindful is needed in our district.
— Kindergarten Teacher
The primary students loved it and I think it is very valuable as a way to stop and reflect or have a brain break. I think it is a chance for them to recharge.
— 1st Grade Teacher
It was a nice built in “pause” to our day. I implemented it a 3rd time with my class and they were excited!
— Third Grade Teacher