What is design thinking?
IDS is one of Connecticut’s leaders in teaching Design Thinking to students and training schools and libraries in its practice. Design Thinking is defined as a process for creative but practical problem-solving by groups of learners. This methodology encourages empathy, creativity, collaboration and rationality, which stimulates divergent thinking. Design Thinking builds a student’s capacity for flexibility and resilience by working through a challenge, building prototypes, and developing alternate solutions to a problem.
Where and how is it taught?
In the early grades, Design Thinking instruction may occur in the classroom as students create their own class rules for behavior or construct weight-bearing chairs for their stuffed animals with LEGOs. Third graders create reed flutes in the Design Lab in their study of Peruvian music. Middle School students take Design Thinking classes twice a week and learn basic engineering, model making and principles of design and collaborative learning.
IDS has specific design lab spaces: a computer lab with 16 computers and a 3D printer, a meeting space for brainstorming and project planning and a workshop with hand carpentry tools.