Category Archives: partnerships

Prototyping: Presidio Challenge

For our introductory design thinking challenge in second grade, Rachel Dionne and Amy Nielsen created a helpful template for planning prototypes.   They made a large sheet (11×17) that included a graphic organizer for planning (Idea?  Materials Needed?  Description?) and an open space for drawing the plan.  Students in their class used the data they collected from interviewing 7th graders to collaborate and plan prototypes together.  While they all were addressing the same design challenge (“How might we educate our 7th grade friends about native Presidio birds?”), their ideas were extremely varied.  Some ideas included board games, models, motorized birds, books, apps, and diagrams.

I also observed students using a generative design thinking mindset, building on each others’ ideas with a “Yes, and” approach.  In particular, we witnessed this exchange between two boys working on a board game:

Boy 1: “How will people move forward?”

Boy 2: “We should have cards.”

Boy 1: “Yes, they should have bird trivia on them!”

Boy 2: “And they’ll tell people how many spaces to move!”

Boy 1: “And they should have answer options A, B, C so people can guess the answer!”

Despite the government shutdown, we’re excited to share and test our prototypes in the Presidio tomorrow!

Prototyping a board game

Prototyping a board game

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Using diagrams in books for prototyping inspiration

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Sharing prototype ideas

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Brainstorming

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Planning

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Introducing the protoyping planning template

Defining and Ideating: Presidio Challenge

To introduce the second graders to the defining phase of the process, we created a template for them to distill some big ideas about their buddy’s needs from the interviewing.  As one kid observed, it was sort of like a Mad Libs!  We wanted to give them a framework for defining needs, and provided modeling and some options for them to think about the learning modality they would be designing.  We will continue working on developing need-finding and creative confidence, before jumping directly to a solution.  We will can do this across curricular topics, such as sharing different strategies to solve a math problem and predicting and evaluating outcomes in literature.  I’m reminded of a quote often used at the d.school that highlights the importance of defining needs: Henry Ford said, “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse.”

My buddy Connor needs games, technology, and illustrations to learn about how birds fly.

My buddy Connor needs games, technology, and illustrations to learn about how birds fly.

My buddy Anton needs an app to learn about everything and facts about birds.

My buddy Anton needs an app to learn about everything and facts about birds.

My buddy Will needs games and illustrated books to learn about how birds fly.

My buddy Will needs games and illustrated books to learn about how birds fly.

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My buddy Ben H. needs an illustrated book to learn about parrots, how they fly, and what they look like.

Empathizing: Interviewing at the Marina Campus

Earlier this week, we introduced the design challenge to our students.  The 2nd graders were excited for a number of reasons, and working with 7th graders topped the list.  This morning, the 7th graders came down to the Marina Campus so we could interview each other.  We had brainstormed a bunch of open-ended questions to ask them, and they came armed with questions of their own and templates for note-taking.   One strategy we used if we got stumped was to “Act Like a 3 Year Old” and ask “Why?” five times, to get details and stories.  As teachers, we were so impressed at how attentively all the boys were listening and how thoughtful they were in their responses.  Signs of empathy building!  We are looking forward to defining need statements from all this data!

2nd-7th grade interviews

2nd-7th grade interviews

2nd-7th grade interviews

2nd-7th grade interviews

2nd-7th grade interviews

2nd-7th grade interviews