student design thinking challenges
As a parent, there is usually only a 50/50 chance, some days much less, that either of my sons will provide many details
about their school day when asked. But, my 4th grade son made sure I knew all of the details about his recent collaborative solar energy project. He was so eager to tell me about his project that he stopped me in the middle of doing laundry one evening and asked me put the laundry basket down so he could have my full attention. He then proceeded to “demo” how he and his classmate created an innovative device, with handmade cardboard cables & specific ports, that would be able to tap into a solar energy panel to power up their cellphone. The overall excitement he demonstrated about being able to create and apply his learning into something he cared about was remarkable.
- Carolyn, Parent of a 4th grade student
Planning a design thinking challenge
Planning a Design Thinking challenges starts by identifying the California Common Core State Standards or Next Generation Science Standards that will be the focus of the unit. Once those are identified, the Design Thinking Planning Template helps teachers plan all the elements of the challenge. Teachers often work alongside a Design Engineer during the planning process. Design Engineers not only help develop the challenge, but are also adept at finding industry experts, locating outside resources, and modeling the design thinking process. Design Thinking challenges incorporate many standards, and are often interdisciplinary in nature, including not only content standards but STEAM+ as well.