Design Thinking

The Design Thinking method is applied throughout our Lower School to provide a framework for students to gain awareness and understanding of  tough global issues - often related to the Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) annual global theme. As students grapple with these real-world problems with a human-centered, hands-on and team-based approach, they learn how to become empathic, effective and engaged citizens.

Design Thinking Lab

We infuse Design Thinking into all classroom learning and collaborations, and Lower School students also share a Design Thinking classroom called The Design Thinking Lab. Teams of students regularly visit The Design Thinking Lab to take a deep dive into the steps of the Design Thinking process, sketchnote, prototype and develop important solution schemes. The space provides powerful opportunities for collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity.

We employ the following terms when conversing about Design Thinking:


In this step of the Design Thinking process, students get to know the user through interviewing and observation. They also research to discover more about a particular problem.


Students define the user, the need and the why to begin generating ideas about how to meet the user’s needs.


Students brainstorm and encourage innovative ideas.


Students build models of their proposed solutions to share with the user and gather feedback.


Students reflect on the process to identify successes and challenges they faced.


Students in Pre-First through fifth grade learn to capture key concepts in words and pictures so that planning, listening, processing, and drawing form a distinct way to recall and communicate important information.

People Power

People Power is a resource we access every day. Students learn to identify their academic, character and collaboration strengths. They come to understand "self," friends, family and teachers as resources, while interviewing and actively listening to content or specialty-area experts, feedback experts or technology experts.

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