In order to create a useful product, designers need to understand how a user(s) feels about an object, system, or space. Therefore, our classes all started with empathy.
In third grade, we learned about empathy by taking part in a “leading the blind” activity. While one student was blindfolded, his or her partner led him or her across the room (without touching or redirecting!) to perform a very specific task. While blindfolded, each student needed to pick up a cylinder from across the room, turn around, go through a set of doors, and place the cylinder on a small table. Then, students switched roles. To conclude the activity, we talked about how it felt to be the person who was blindfolded, and how it felt to be the person who was leading. Thus, we learned that empathy is understanding how someone else feels.
The design thinking process also involves creativity! First, we explored what creativity is. In first grade, we used straws, sticky tabs, and paper clips to create anything that we wanted. We quickly realized that we had to utilize our creative juices to make many different things from the limited resources.
Work in progress:
PreK and Kindergarten students are learning about how everyone is creative, especially the bunny in Not A Box by Antoinette Portis!
We’re thinking about the question: How might second graders create time capsules so that they can feel surprised, happy, proud, and different when they open it a year later?
And finally: How might the fourth and fifth grade students improve the fourth grade meeting spot so that it is comfortable, inviting, spacious yet cozy, and promotes conversation?