Summer Enrichment – Design Thinking a Better Assembly

ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY’s Summer Enrichment students in Design Thinking spent three weeks creating solutions-based projects to improve the Secondary school’s assembly experience. To give the middle school students hands-on experience working with a client, teacher Jenna Butts partnered with IPA’s Student Activities Coordinator, Ruby May Fernandez.

Students developed their solutions through the process of design thinking beginning with researching their client’s needs, which included interviewing Fernandez about the challenges she faces in running the assemblies, and considering their own experiences as students in the assemblies.

“The students did an excellent job creating open-ended questions to interview Ms. Fern in an effort to better understand her wants and needs for assembly design,” shared Butts.

With their point of view statement defined – “Ms. Fern needs more space and AV equipment so students will focus and pay attention during assembly” – the students brainstormed ideas for days/times, locations, layouts, activities, and equipment that could be used to address their client’s needs. They created their designs as 2D sketches then built several iterations of prototypes using the Big Blue Blocks before finalizing their 3D designs in Tinkercad.

Students provided feedback on each other’s designs throughout the process, creating opportunities to re-think, re-design, and re-prototype as they honed their designs to create their best solutions.

The design thinkers presented their final designs on Zoom to Ms. Fern for her feedback. She was excited to see the innovative solutions the students came up with and hopes to implement some of their ideas during the upcoming school year to improve the assembly experience for the Secondary students.

“These creative and innovative Design Thinkers will make an impact on our IPA community by redesigning the assembly approach,” shared Butts. “It’s exciting to see how our students are making a difference in their school’s community!”