The Assessment of Technology in Context (ATiC) laboratory was established by author Balka at Simon Fraser University, focussing on the uses of participatory design and ethnographic methodologies. It had only recently opened when they were approached to participate in the project. The scope and requirements of the proposed study fit the lab's capacities well and so it was viewed as a good choice for a first project for ATiC. In addition, it presented a unique opportunity to work across disciplines and to implement participatory design practices in a type of workplace (a middle school) that had not been a focal point of most other PD projects.
Subsequent discussions between members of the PDG, IPS and ATiC indicated that there was a good compatibility between the groups. A productive working relationship was quickly realized which fueled the project's development and led to a negotiated agreement between ATiC and the CECM. ATiC constructed an appropriate program for ethnographic study and provided the necessary support (ethics clearance, recording hardware like video cameras, expertise, etc.); CECM provided funding for the on-site ethnographer and managed the project itself. The interaction between ATiC, PDG and IPS was carefully delineated in a memorandum of understanding .