How might we empower middle and high schools with a new framework for solving problems?

Partner: Beaver Creek City School District

Type: Professional development, curriculum design and support

In 2014, Beavercreek City School District won an Ohio Straight A grant to bring design thinking to their district. The generous grant provided funding to create four innovation labs (one in each of the middle and high schools in the district), and Ei Studio was brought in to bring those labs to life.

To help science and social studies teachers integrate design thinking strategies into their teaching and learning, we ran a three-day Intro to Design Thinking workshop, and then built one-week instructional modules for several different courses. Teachers implemented those modules, utilizing the new innovation labs for prototyping, and provided Ei with feedback. Ei revised the activities based on teacher feedback, and collaborated with teachers to brainstorm and develop additional design thinking-infused activities for the following year.

We also built a series of five semester-long design thinking courses that are being taught in the innovation labs, and provided both initial training and ongoing support to the facilitating teachers.

Here's a glimpse of the beginning of our collaboration:

What happens when students are given the opportunity to do their own research to answer a question, and then to use insights from that research to fuel new ideas? "It feels like the stuff you're building is yours," was one student's answer. Take a peak at Beavercreek students in action: