To end Term 3, Year 9 students shared the Design Thinking skills process with Year 5 & 6 students from Parkes East and Parkes Primary schools as part of our gifted enrichment program. Some of our PHS students learned this problem-solving process at the Game Changer Challenge in Dubbo earlier in the term, and revisited their experience to teach their peers and younger students (kids teaching kids is a powerful learning tool!)
The Design Thinking process begins with empathy, trying to understand what the problem is and who has the problem, in order to create an effective and appropriate solution. It also places a lot of emphasis on using the imagination to come up with ideas and testing them before deciding on a final design.
Our problem was the increasing rates of loneliness and anxiety in young people: the twofold solution was that Year 9 students designed and made a pet rock to give to their younger buddies, and the Yr 5 & 6 students created an enclosure in which their pet rocks could happily live.
Apart from learning new thinking and collaborative skills, all students made new connections, had fun and finished the day feeling positive and enthusiastic.