Last Thursday on California Ave in Palo Alto, teachers from East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, an Aspire school, and East Palo Alto Charter School began a two day professional development workshop run by the k12 lab research team. The teachers, who excelled at previous design thinking modules around brainstorming and prototyping, finally got the opportunity to put all their skills together and completed a design challenge around redefining the Mom and Pop store for the 21st century.
The energy and passion of the group was apparent from the first empathy exercise held in the parking lot behind Know Knew Books. That excitement plus their extreme curiosity pushed them to get rich insights from interviewing people all around Cal Ave. They then took those insights and designed unique prototypes Friday afternoon.
Four EPAPA teachers have already used design thinking in their classes, including submitting entries to the Global Innovation Tournament. After the workshop, they plan to continue this trend school wide.