PROJECT UPDATE: BUILDING TOWERS, BUILDING CONFIDENCE, AND BUILDING CAPACITY

Beavercreek, OH

What impact can you have on creative confidence in a 45-minute activity? We traveled to Beavercreek a couple times to run a Paper Towers worksop with students to let them know about the new Design Thinking elective courses that will be offered this fall. 

Me: "Nice job, ladies!"

Student on the left: "I can't believe this!"

Student on the right: "Yeah, we're cheerleaders! (as in "we're not supposed to be able to do this kind of thing well"). 

So many things I wanted to say in response to that, but I think the most powerful thing had already happened - they experienced their own success. 

The record for tallest freestanding tower over the 4 days went to a couple juniors. 112"  (15 sheets of copy paper and two feet of masking tape)

While they were building, one of the students came up to me and asked: "What do we do if our tower touches the ceiling?"

Me: "You can take it off the table and put it down on the floor."

Student: "Uhhh, it's already on the floor." 

Me: "(smiling) Awesome. Well in that case, take it out into the library, and keep going!" 

They did. 

In May, when construction on the design labs is complete, these teachers will be using the labs to pilot 3-day design-based activities with their Science and Social Studies classes. We're excited to see how those go!

Kentucky Race to the Top Project

We've been working with a handful of regional support staff, building their capacity to facilitate the design process with their teachers and school leaders. Next week we'll be working with that team to design a one-day Intro to DT workshop for teachers that they'll then co-facilitate with me in various sessions throughout the summer.  It's been exciting to effectively work ourselves out of a job on this project as we build local capacity. 

 

Victor Saad