Introduction to Design Thinking course is a new elective this year

The Introduction to Design Thinking course is a new elective this year which teaches students how to use the design thinking process to address a range of issues, from consumer concerns to social issues. Most of the class is devoted to project-based application of the process.  

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After tackling school-wide issues using the design thinking process – empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test – students shifted to a more concrete application of the design thinking process. They were tasked with identifying a problem in their own lives, coming up with a solution by either creating a new product or improving upon an existing product.
At that point, their work brought them to the Maker Space as they began building prototypes to test. One aspect of their testing was to explain their ideas to Mr. Porter Gieske and incorporate his feedback into their work. They have been getting feedback from each other, Ms. Smith, and Mr. Barnes; talking with Mr. Gieske gave them access to his expertise and experience in designing products.  

The Middle School Library has two “making” challenges underway for April.


MayThe4th (1)

The Middle School Library has two “making” challenges underway for April.

The first is to write a book or library themed haiku like this one from a 6th grader:

Cover, pages, end

I read all these books and then,

I read them again

The second challenge is to design a Star wars themed 3D print in time to celebrate on Star ward Day. May the 4th be with you!

Both challenges offer the winners the opportunity to get a scan and a 3D Print of their heads!


Motion Class: First Solo Projects / Upper School

Motion Class: First Solo Projects


The Motion course is about kinetic art: 3-D objects changing or moving in time.  Maker Space sculptural materials include cloth, wood, cardboard, aluminum, paper, gearing, motors, and sensors, and we just completed partner projects involving programmed Lego NXT motors moving ribbons and cloth (see a future post for examples of these).  This cycle, inspired by yesterday’s Collection guest speaking on the Design process, we are sketching and planning and brainstorming our first solo projects. See example below, a sketch of J.D. Davis’ rotating vinyl LP records. -Mr Heath