Design Thinking is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) course for Lincoln sixth graders to investigate real-world problems and create actionable solutions while expanding their collaboration, communications, and problem-solving communication skills, to prepare them for the modern workforce.
Design Thinking teachers recognize many students possess these skills, but need opportunities to grow and transfer them to different contexts. The arrangement of this otherwise traditional learning space promotes a more exploration-driven learning environment, including flexible seating, glass walls, 3D printers, and a laser cutter.
The curriculum is centered on student-directed learning with teachers acting as facilitators, with eight modules building toward an open-ended challenge. The ninth module provides students with an opportunity to “put it all together” in culminating project. Specific examples of the learning opportunities provided in the eight modules include planning an efficient assembly line, designing a tiny house, and planning for the survival of a potato chip from a very high drop.
In the 2018-2019 school year approximately 470 6th grade students are a part of this required course. By 2021, all 3,000 6th grade students will take the semester-long course.