What does it look like? 





     Read a Short Description

    Design Thinking is a problem-solving process that helps students build empathy, resilience, creativity and reflection in order solving real-world, human-based challenges.
    The Process:
    Empathize:  Designers interview a person (user)  who has a need or challenge.  The designer wants to gain a clear picture of the problem by understanding the limitations, constraints, and needs of the user. Interview and probing skills are practiced and honed during this process.
    Define:  The designer defines the goal from the view point of the user.  It is not the goal that the designer wants, but the goal that the user needs.  This helps develop empathy!
    Ideate:  This is the step where the designer rapid prototypes or brainstorms multiple solutions for the user within a set time limit.  The designer records the idea solutions using pictures and shares them with the person.  
    Prototype:  Once a solution is identified, the designer builds a 3-D representation of the solution to help the person visualize the solution and make sure both parties picture the same solution.  The prototype is typically built using recycled materials and craft supplies and will loosely represent the solution.  
    Test: The testing step allows the designer to use the solution in the world and see how it performs.  It allows the designer to reflect, criticize, and refine the design.  
    Here are a few design thinking classroom examples.
    Objective: Service Learning
    Teams will use Design Thinking to advocate and create a presentation for a candidate on KIVA.org.  Teams will select a candidate's project on KIVA, work together to research and understand the living conditions of the candidate, and create a persuasive presentation in hopes of funding that project.  
    Zombie Apocalypse
    Geography: Applying Five Themes of Geography
    Students will apply their mapping and geography skills to save the human race during the Zombie Apocalypse.  Students will have to designate a safe zone, use Design Thinking to layout a safe zone base, and use Design Thinking to create a public-service message to all survivors directing them to the safe zone.  
    Shark Tank
    Objective: Economics
     Each team will use Design Thinking to redefine a product/service and solve a challenge for an assigned target group.  Each team will interview members from a target group, identify a goal, ideate solutions, and build 3-D models of the solution.  Once the final solution is made, teams will present their inventions to the Sharks (parent volunteers) in hopes of gaining an investment (pretend.)