Fouché, J. & Crowley, J. (2017). Kidding around with design thinking. Educational Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct17/vol75/num02/Kidding-Around-with-Design-Thinking.aspx
SUMMARY: This is an interesting account of a 2nd grade class working on Next Generation Science Standards and are engaging in the design thinking process. They were given a real-life problem to solve – goats escaping from their pens. Students designed what the pen should look like on paper, then built 3D prototypes using PCV piping, dry fit connectors and orange construction netting. A GoPro camera was placed on a baby goat so that students could see what it was like to be one inside one of the pens, and how the goat’s actions may affect the structure’s design. Ultimately the structure could hold the baby goals for a maximum of 72 hours before they were able to escape. This sparked more ideas and discussion for improvement of the design, even though time did not permit them to keep going.
EVALUATION: It is apparent that even young children are capable of designing things for the purpose of problem-solving. Being taken through the process of drawing a design of the goat pen, to creating a prototype, and even being able to see from the perspective of a goat what it was like trying to escape from the pen was very empowering. They were critical thinkers, problem-solvers, innovators, experimenters of design. The process of inquiry and design allows students to be active thinkers, learners, and doers. Learning experiences are not hypothetical, or contrived. They are real, meaningful, and powerful.