Design Thinking Tools


We have created a bold list of topics for the week. Through the variety of activities — a balance of hands-on teamwork, small group curriculum discussions, solo reflection time, and equipment tutorials — we will address the topics below, and more, in a meaningful way. 


Powertools and HandTOols

Tools of the Modern Makerspace

The “greatest hits” of the well-appointed maker space — laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC machines — are expensive pieces of equipment. Don’t let them gather dust. Also spend time (re)acquainting yourself with a number of saws and drills, and wrestle with the question of when to use old versus new.


Maker Culture

Project Design

Work on your own biggest curriculum challenges with other teachers in an active studio environment. You do not need to change your curriculum wholesale. By simply adding elements of maker culture to any lesson plan, you can broaden the thinking and responsiveness of your students.


Project Facilitation

Teacher as Facilitator

Help students earn their answers and go through the process of not knowing, Uncertainty is not a gap to close quickly, but a state of possibility where discoveries can happen. What should you be asking? What should students be asking? The right question opens the doors.



Innovation Through Observation

Close observation leads to clearer communication and seeing connections that aren’t immediately apparent. Develop the vocabulary for expressing just what you have seen. Learn how to infuse your current lessons with elements — staging, novelty, narrative, constraints — that will foster authentic discovery.



The Kind Critique

Criticism is the oxygen of the makerspace. Teach your students to look forward to someone telling them that they might be able to do better. Learn to give the most useful feedback by observing, empathizing, and understanding intentions.



Materials for Making

Making on a Budget

Laser cutters are fantastic, but critical making also happens with scissors and cereal boxes. We will re-source supplies you already stock in your classroom for critical making in unexpected ways. Use a paperclip to study Newton’s Laws of Motion or a rubber band to build an engine.



Afternoon Workshops