Center for Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship
Young people who have opportunities to create worthwhile ideas, make decisions, and work with others to build viable solutions to real problems develop the collaboration, communication, and inventiveness that are recognized as essential skills for success in tomorrow’s complex world.
A learning platform built on design thinking and entrepreneurship provides a powerful vehicle for project-based learning that seeks to investigate and grapple with engaging, authentic and complex challenges using a clear approach for collaborative problem solving and the discovery of new ideas and opportunities. The September 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review, devoted entirely to the topic of design thinking, offered IDS Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship programs provide students with hands-on activities through which they can explore, test, build, innovate, demonstrate, and take pride in their creativity. The process by which problems are investigated and new opportunities realized, calls for the application of several essential steps. These include understanding and conjecturing about the problem, observation, defining the problem, ideating, prototyping and testing; all working together cyclically to create a method of resolution that is as effective as it is innovative. Divergent thinking capacities of flexibility, fluency, elaboration and originality are essential student mindsets that create products that serve as summative solutions to the problem at hand. As a result of their participation, IDS students excel in the creative application of content knowledge, critical thinking, teamwork, communication, and collaboration. Students can be fearless because they are supported with a social-emotional environment that promotes risk-taking, reflection, and perseverance.
Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship Skills and Mindsets
- Construction and tool use
- Divergent thinking
- Problem solving
- Team work
- Perspective taking
- Production and presentation
IDS creative spaces – Maker Lab and Tech Lab - work together to form a highly energized setting where students work in tandem to identify problems, negotiate options and fashion solutions. There are no sidelines in these studios, as every student rolls-up their sleeves and eagerly enters the marketplace of ideas with the goal of helping to build that “better mousetrap.”
The Labs are safe, purposeful environments that support open and collaborative brainstorming and recording, blueprinting and 3D design, and culminating project production.
The presentation of the culmination products to the school community give students the chance to obtain feedback and to learn from the larger school community. Student design projects can be found on display around campus in the form of our wooden icosahedron and the giant wooden FEARLESS installed in our center courtyard. Students have also designed and constructed musical instruments, drafting tools, bird houses, and bridges as well as designing and executing technology-based publications like the school’s yearbook, literary magazine, and theater posters.
As we launch the Year of Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship in 2019-20, we plan to work with Junior Achievement to provide every child with financial literacy education, launch schoolwide design experiences, engage students in redesigning school spaces, tackle design thinking for social change, and many other activities that will result in student growth.