Design Thinking for the WIN!

Design to be shared on Earth Day with all FCPS schools.

Design to be shared on Earth Day with all FCPS schools.

The truest advice I received in student teaching was, “When students do poorly, teachers blames themselves; when students do well, teachers praise students.” Where does the praise for teachers come in? Well, today, I want to praise the teachers of STEAM Academy.

In our very first year, we have introduced many new approaches school wide. One of our biggest struggles was determining the role of Design Thinking in our structure. At the end of first semester, we realized that the wires of previous training in Project Based Learning teachers, administration experience, and parent understanding was being confused with the client/empathy centered structure described in John Nash’s “Design Thinking for Educators”.

Adapted from John Nash's "Design Thinking for Educators"

Adapted from John Nash’s “Design Thinking for Educators”

What I find remarkable and deserving of praise today is – that even with the difficulty in figuring out the true place for design thinking at STEAM – we have imparted the meaning of the design process to our students. We have done this to the point that their instincts now reflect the very client-centered approach that confused the adults!


Members of the club, E=USE², have been given the go-ahead from FCPS’s Sustainability Initiative to design their plan for $1500 to improve energy conservation and sustainability at STEAM. I am so proud to say that when given this news, our students immediately wanted to survey the needs of individuals who will make use of their purchases!

Design thinking for the win!



2 responses to “Design Thinking for the WIN!

  1. It is just amazing to see when that lightbulb comes on in the students – you probably have gone home nights and felt that the students weren’t getting it. But they were – it just took some time for those roots to sprout!


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