On April 20, PreK-4th grade students participated in a design thinking activity for Earth Day. Their design problem was "How can we help Earth by capturing sun and water to create energy?" Throughout the activity, students used recycled material to make different prototypes. PreK students made contraptions that fly while kindergarten students created devices that float. First, second, third, and fourth grade students were tasked with making "things that go."
"Design Day was a day of design, making and collaboration for the Lower School students," said Head of Lower School Sue Szczepkowski. "Students worked in mixed age groups to design, create, and test prototypes to respond to this challenge in creative and fun ways."
Students had a blast as they collaborated and tweaked their designs, whether it was in a Lower School classroom, the Nature Nook makerspace, or wading in the Wissahickon Creek while testing a prototype.
In line with Germantown Academy's strategic vision, design days give GA students the opportunity to practice and build upon their problem-solving skills using design thinking, the creative five-step problem-solving process founded by David Kelly of the d.school: Institute of Design at Stanford. All GA students, PreK-12, learn the five-step process of empathizing (interviewing for need), defining (articulating the need), ideating (generating as many possible solutions to the problem), prototyping (building your ideas), and testing (having users interact with the prototype).
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