Design Thinking

Design Thinking Classes — Guest blog by Ja’Daiza Johnson, Commons Leader in Residence

Design Thinking has been a great set of classes so far this year. The two Middle School Flex Time classes have been working on various projects to get the students familiar with the design process and to learn their way around the Workshop and Project Space. One class was offered M-W-F while the other was offered T-R. All classes were a mix of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.

The first project they worked on was to design a popsicle stick bridge. Each team was given 200 popsicle sticks and an unlimited amount of hot glue to design and build a bridge that would hold at least 12 pounds. All of the bridges exceeded the required weight! There were many different designs and approaches used to build the bridge, from triangles to sideways placement. Each team prototyped their design in an effort to test and increase the strength of their bridge.

Other projects have included designing and creating the gaga court (see here), cardboard and duct tape boats, work on the drive shaft installation, and the golf ball track. Band saw and sanding training was accomplished through the students cutting out a block letter of their names in wood. Recycled creativity was a project where the students had to use only material that they recycled from previous project material to build a ox or artistic structure. Planter boxes were built for the greenhouse, and there is a group currently working on making a remote-controlled electric go-kart. Anything can happen in Design Thinking, and as this trimester nears the end, students are looking forward to what the next trimester has to offer!

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