Introduction

  1. Say, “Today you will design a new accessory for Dash to solve a schoolwide problem!”
  2. Use the 2-5 Design Thinking Presentation to introduce the iterative design thinking process to the class. Say, “Design Thinking has been used to develop all kinds of inventions we use each day, like smartphones, cars, board games and video games. We can use design thinking to improve conditions in our classroom.”
    • Understand: “Of course we understand what we are feeling, but it’s important to ask how those around us feel about things, too. When we understand how users are feeling and the problems they face, we can learn about problems that we all might share.”
    • Define: “Designers must be able to identify a problem or a need that they will attempt to solve. For example: Our classroom floor gets messy after craft activities. That’s a problem.”
    • Ideate: “The word ‘idea’ is the root word of the word ‘ideate.’ That’s because when we ideate, we come up with ways to solve the problem. Brainstorming allows us to come up with all kinds of ideas and then work together to decide on which ideas we’d like to try first. For example: Designing a program and accessory for Dash to sweep up the floor.”
    • Plan: “Once designers select the best solution, they make a plan. They draw a diagram of their design and figure out what materials they will need. For example: You will probably need Legos to build a sweeper for Dash to clean the floor.”
    • Build: “We begin by building a rough version of your group’s design. This rough version is called a prototype. We do this in the same way that we would create a rough draft when we write. It’s okay to make mistakes, because that’s how we learn to make improvements. During construction, we frequently stop to test and retest our prototype. Then we ask: How can we improve it? Each time we make a change in our design, we retest our prototype. It does not need to be perfect. It just needs to work well enough to test out the features of your group’s design.”
    • Test: “Once we’ve built a Dash accessory that sweeps the floor, we must test it out. Does it work? Does it solve the problem? If not, can we tweak it in some way to make it work? Is the problem in the accessory or the program we’ve written? It’s okay to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and make changes, when needed. We can also get feedback from our peers and from the people who will be using the accessory. We can use that feedback to improve our designs!”