THOMASVILLE - Design Thinking is all around us. From the cell phones we use to the chairs we sit in, every object has gone through this creative problem solving process. At Brookwood School, eighth grade students are challenged in the Design Thinking enrichment class to identify problems they see around them and to create workable solutions to those problems using the five steps of the Design Thinking process: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. This is a fluid process, not a linear one. Students’ ideas are continuously challenged and revised. One of the most challenging aspects of the Design Thinking process for the eighth graders is empathy. Students are required to conduct unbiased interviews to learn from those around them before defining the actual problem they will be solving in the class.
While learning the Design Thinking process is critical, students also learn how to compose a formal email, conduct an interview, be empathetic, work collaboratively, and give a formal presentation in front of Brookwood’s Leadership Team and the remainder of the eighth grade class.
This year, our focus has been on products. Throughout this process, students have created prototypes for the following products:
The Right Light- a lightbulb fully controlled by an app
Scaley- a fishing pole with a built-in scale
LOCKi Purse- a bag with a biometric lock
My Catcher- a helpful tool for softball and baseball pitchers that will return pitches
Pet Tech- a smart dog collar with tracking capabilities
Smart Lures-a crankbait with interchangeable lips
Silibuds- a more comfortable wireless earbud
Dudes with Food- a food delivery business that utilizes bicycles to cut down on emissions
While the Design Thinking class teaches the process, students can take the skills learned in the class to creatively solve everyday problems in and out of the classroom.