Design Process

Define the Problem

Have student groups use the Design Thinking Workbook to:

  • Record the list of schoolwide problems that was created by the class.
  • Discuss and add any other problems to the list.
  • Narrow this list down to a top schoolwide problem.
  • Explain the selected problem in detail.

Remind students that they may need to compromise.


Have student groups use the Design Thinking Workbook to:

  • Brainstorm and record possible solutions for their selected problem.
  • Select their top solution.
  • Explain the selected solution in detail with words and diagrams.


Have students use the Design Thinking Workbook to:

  • Establish team roles such as:
    • Lead Programmer: Holds the tablet and integrates group member ideas to create the program in Blockly.
    • Documentarian: Records, writes, and/or draws all group results, thoughts, and progress. Illustrates group designs and ideas.
    • Lead Builder: Collects the materials needed to build the accessory. The lead builder oversees the building and testing of the prototype.
  • Draft a design of their accessory idea for Dash.
    • Students can draw the design by hand or use an online program to design a 3D draft (e.g., Tinkercad).
    • An alternative would be to have students each create an individual sketch and then combine the best of their ideas based on group discussion.

Have each group share their design with a teacher or adult.

  • Have students make any needed adjustments to their original plan based on teacher feedback.


Have students use the Design Thinking Workbook to:

  • Make a list of the recycled materials they will need to build a prototype of their design.
  • Gather the necessary materials.
  • Build the prototype.

Have each group share their prototype with the teacher.

  • Have them make any needed adjustments based on the teacher’s feedback.

Program & Test

Have students use the Design Thinking Workbook to:

  • Plan a program for Dash that will help demonstrate their accessory design.
  • Use the Blockly app to develop their program.
  • Record the results of their code and prototype.
  • Make any improvements based on their test.

The program should contain criteria that you’ve established depending on students’ coding abilities. For example, the criteria could include: functions, repeat until loops, and/or conditionals.

  • Remind students of the criteria (e.g., “Don’t forget to include a Function block and an If/Else block. Think about which portion of the program Dash must repeat more than once.”).