Last year we introduced our Design Curriculum project, created to encourage the teaching of design to children along with their other core disciplines. Spark Corps has developed a comprehensive, semester long program to teach design thinking to children. After developing this program, we took it to The Kindezi Charter School, a local elementary school, to test its implementation and further the curriculum’s development. The skills taught in this program were designed to not only help kids to think creatively but also enhance important life skills such as empathy, teamwork, and problem solving.
Over the last four months we taught a pilot of our design curriculum to a group of 8-11 year olds at the Kindezi School. We taught the program for two hours after school four days a week. And, after seemingly endless duct tape, cardboard, energy, and creativity, we completed four design-centered projects that encouraged empathy, teamwork, and communication while teaching design principles such as iteration, sketching, modeling, and need finding. The kids in this program grew tremendously over the course of the program, coming up with the most creative, crazy, fun solutions to problems that we have ever seen and evolving from independent minds to coordinating with their peers to create collaborative projects.
Over the next year, we will work to think critically about the lessons learned, and how we can evolve our curriculum. One of the first steps Spark Corps is taking to do this is through our design education workshop for teachers. You can learn more about the curriculum and workshop by visiting the registration page here.