a few news and notes for this week's newsletter:
1) i spent last week at the Henry Ford Academy Alameda School for Art and Design
in San Antonio. The entire freshman class and teachers were in the middle of a design challenge around creating a new meal to appear regularly in their cafeteria. It was fantastic to see teachers collaborating with each other (and the students too) and the students interviewing their peers and adults around needs and constraints. Students and teachers dedicated about 2.5 hours a day to this challenge - fantastic! i left before the challenge was over, so i'm not sure the result, but it will be on the wiki as soon as we know which menu item won and how food testing went. i posted lots of details on what happened on the wiki here
(and i'll include a more detailed paragraph below as well). I'm quite excited for next quarter's design challenge - reducing crime in San Antonio.
2) i then went down to LA to do a talk/workshop for teachers who are fellows of the program Centered For Talented Youth (out of Johns Hopkins) on Saturday. These teachers are nominated by their students to be there, and it was fantastic to get a chance to hear some of their stories. Milton Chen from the George Lucas Foundation also gave a talk on Saturday, and gave everyone a copy of the latest Edutopia magazine, which has a two-pager on the dschool k12 lab. Check it out here
3) If you're a teacher who is hoping to do a design challenge with your students in the next few months please let us know - we'd love to talk to you about how we can best support you. we're also planning a saturday design challenge event to introduce people to design thinking or give a refresher to those who need it. Stay tuned for more details.
4) I'm a fan of what Emily Pilloton has created with Project H (focusing on humanity, habits, health and happiness). They have done a number of cool projects in the k-12 space. One of there general efforts is to launch a Design Revolution Roadshow this week. The roadshow features 40 world-changing products (things like the jaipur foot,adaptive eyewear glasses, portable solar chargers, etc
) For those of you who are local, the airstream trailer that houses the exhibit is coming to Stanford on Tuesday - it will be in the Design Loft courtyard from 2-5pm. More details below. the trailer will be in other SF locations throughout the week so check their website if you're interested.
5) I was speaking to someone earlier this week who was emphasizing the importance of having students learn how to identify the proper problem rather than simply being problem solvers. i see Embrace as an example of refraining the problem. Embrace is company that was born out of the d.school extreme affordability class. they were tasked with coming up with a new incubator solution for babies in Nepal, but refrained that to "how do we keep babies warm?" Their solution looks like a baby sleeping bag, and costs $25 (opposed to the $20K of most incubators). Embrace CEO Jane Chen's TED talk was posted online this week - you can check it out here
. I thought you'd enjoy this and the video might serve as an inspiration point for those of you with students...
Thanks for reading. As always- we love to hear the stories of what you're doing to apply/teach design thinking... keep them coming!
More details are below as promised!
More details on my HFA:ASAD trip:
More than 70 ninth graders in San Antonio are working on a design challenge that’s near and dear to them: designing nutritious, cost-effective and tasty menus for the school cafeteria.
Leading up to the challenge, students at the Henry Ford Academy Alameda School of Art and Design did their homework: They practiced interviewing in their English Language Arts class, gained an understanding of calories and food science in science class, and learned how to do proportional calculations in math class.
Last week—with the help of the d.school’s K-12 lab director Rich Crandall—teachers and students spent two and a half hours using the design thinking process to work on the challenge. They conducted peer interviews to get a better sense of what fellow students need in a lunch meal. They also conducted "expert" interviews with representatives from Selrico Services (the company that provides their meals), a nurse (on health considerations), and their principal (on school constraints). It was a new experience for students: "I'm not used to talking to adults about this kind of stuff,” one ninth grader said.
Students then worked in groups of three to create composite characters based on their peer interviews, and brainstormed meal solutions for their character. They made sure their meal adhered to regulation by doing calorie and cost calculations and checking to see that all the food groups were included. Students were able to see all of the groups' work, and voted for their favorite meal. This week the cafeteria served two of the winning entrees as a test. Depending on the student feedback, one of the meals will be integrated into the cafeteria menu going forward.
Congrats to all at HFA:ASAD for the great work - it was fantastic to see all of the teacher collaboration and student energy on this challenge! Up next: the students will work on the design challenge, "How might we reduce crime in San Antonio?" Stay tuned to hear what happens!
more details about Roadshow:
The Design Revolution Road Show is coming to Stanford next Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 from 2-5 p.m. in the Building 610/Design Loft Courtyard.
The Design Revolution Road Show is a traveling exhibition and lecture series bringing “product design that empowers” to 25 high schools and university design programs across the nation in the Spring of 2010. A Project H Design initiative, the road show will feature an Airstream trailerexhibition of 40 humanitarian design solutions that have been showcased in the book Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People.
The programming will bring the evidence of and tools for design for social impact to the doorsteps of students, with the ultimate goal of enabling and empowering the next generation of creative problem-solvers to apply their skills to the world’s most pressing problems and improve life on a global scale.
Please see visit the links below for additional information.