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Student Experiences

During her Master’s in Educational Sciences and Pedagogical Sciences, Rosan Stoekenbroek discovered she wanted to learn more than just theory alone. With a passion for nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, she now works as a lecturer in the Pedagogical Sciences Bachelor’s programme as well as a fitness coach at a physical therapy practice and a trainer at a local gym. When she first heard of the honours lab Innovations for a Healthy Lifestyle last year, she knew she had to be part of it.

As part of the honours lab, Rosan and her team partnered with the organisation GO!  Gezond Onderweg, which helps overweight and obese children and teens adopt healthy lifestyle habits. “The organisation is committed to helping neighbourhoods with limited access to healthy resources by focusing on three main pillars: nutrition, exercise and leisure. After careful consideration and discussion, we choose nutrition as our theme,” explains Rosan. The groups apply the design thinking method, which puts users first by creating specific personas. “In design thinking, it’s extremely important to see things from the perspective of the target group - or persona - and to identify their potential opportunities and challenges.”

Rosan and her group came up with a unique solution: a recipe app inspired by the Tinder format. “In our prototype, we wanted to make healthy eating as easy and accessible as possible. The idea is to keep swiping until you find a recipe you like. We made sure to include recipes in different languages, featuring simple and affordable ingredients. One of the challenges we came across when developing our prototype was whose responsibility it is to live a healthy life. Our society tends to emphasise the individual and assumes that everyone is capable of making the same choices. However, eating patterns are largely determined by environmental factors, personal habits and available resources. This is something we have to think carefully about.”

The room for creativity is what really drew Rosan to the honours lab. “I was surprised at how different the programme was. It encourages you to think outside the box, outside your theoretical framework, and really see things from the perspective of the individual. As scientists, I think we forget to do this sometimes.” “I’ve always been creative and associative; I love coming up with new ideas. The honours lab taught me how to apply my creativity and how to structure the creative process. It’s an excellent addition to traditional university education.”