Design Thinking - Challenge Based Learning

Last year Mrs. Pointer and I shared a challenge with the sixth grade to consider real world problems and then iterate solutions. The project took on a life of its own as students began to passionately deep dive in design thinking. Design Thinking has been around awhile and has become a major movement in innovative learning circles. The world is talking about design thinking. Design helps innovators dream big, while dreaming big on something that people really need and helping our students have a positive impact on the world around them.

All Saints teachers have gone on their own deep dives training with the, Stanford’s Institute of Design, the epicenter of the Design Thinking movement. They are utilizing the framework to help our students to build confidence while creating important solutions.

This year the Class of 2024 has taken on the “ASES 6th Grade Design Challenge” in some really exciting ways. They’ve worked throughout the year to empathize, problem-solve, plan and create 3D models of their ideas for a redesign of the greenspace behind the Student Center.
At the end of April, the students presented their models to me and identified potential design issues with the space and then offered solutions. Taking their ideas, I met with them two weeks later in the Idea Lab and guided them to identify the key components of our challenge. After a good discussion they determined seven “design drivers” for this exciting student-led project.
A week later the students met with me and members of the Leadership Team to experience the process of cost analysis. They estimated the cost of each of the seven design drivers and then asked a construction site specialist to determine the actual cost. After they calculated the total cost of all the materials and labor, they created project priorities. Mrs. Pointer said, “I am so proud of how they worked together discussing, debating, and coming to an agreement on what could and should be built for our school community.”  

Our students have demonstrated incredible maturity, passion and creativity throughout the entire process. It is authentic learning opportunities such as this that
inspire, encourage, and compel our students to become designersdevelopers, collaborators, and leaders ready to make a difference in the world.

The legacy they’re leaving behind will impact and benefit the All Saints family for many years to come!