Enter a Middle School Design Contest

N.B., I feel compelled to mention that this post is sticky, and is likely to remain at the top of the blog for a few days.  Feel free to scroll down and see what else has been added…

So… my school is hosting a design contest on March 10, 2012.  Here’s the challenge, and the nature of the contest.

This is a big project for me, and it’s been occupying a lot of my time and  energy the last few weeks.  The essence of the contest is this, though:

Design is really about problem solving.  And problem-solving, in all its myriad forms, is the basis of 21st century skills.  If your students aren’t learning how to describe and evaluate problems, or learning how to invent solutions, they’re not really learning any twenty-first century skills.

Here’s what I’ve seen my students learning in our design program at IDS:

  • How to be cooperative;
  • How to be competitive;
  • How to be a team player;
  • How to think laterally;
  • How to draw solutions as well as write them;
  • How to innovate;
  • How to build on the ideas of others;
  • How to write computer scripts;
  • How to write clearly and logically;
  • How to present ideas on their feet;
  • How to think quickly;
  • How to conjure enthusiasm;
  • How to ask radical questions;
  • How to imagine a different future, for themselves and others.

I think the skills I’ve learned as a design teacher, and the skills I’ve helped my students acquire, are critical to being a success in the twenty-first century.  I hope you’ll join us and give your students exposure to these new concepts and new ways of working, on March 10, 2012, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

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  1. Andrew
    Watched your design contest video. Looks great. Unfortunately Rectory is on break at this time.

    • I know, but I figured I’d let you know — maybe we can schedule it at a more amenable day and hour next year….

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