You can't be a creative thinker if you're not stimulating your mind, just as you can't be an Olympic athlete if you don't train regularly.Ken Robinson
Trial Month - A full dive
“You can't get a glimpse of the marine life by dipping your toes in the ocean”
In the trial month we look at briefly taking kids through every aspect of design thinking. The goal in this month is to get students to open up to the idea of coming up with creative solutions. They slowly begin to start feeling like innovators. It also ensures it sets the right expectations of what the course will be like.
As a part of the trial month they also visit the innovation lab and see various machines and tools in action.
The trial month is in fact more intensive and fast paced than the sessions they will experience later. This is designed to be so in order to set the right tone for the sessions.
The focus of year one is to continue to build creative confidence. An excitement for good ideas and the belief that they can come up with them is inculcated. From very early on, values of good design and problem solving are introduced as key concepts.
Our expectation for excellence from them is emphasised upon.
Activities are both individual as well as group based. In the group based activities they find themselves in situations where they must learn to take criticism on their ideas and give constructive criticism on other's ideas. They must evaluate and make decisions in the best interest of the group. This sounds easier than it is.
We urge them to not let the fear of failure stop them from trying new and bold things. This is essential as traditional schooling demonises failure to the point where it stifles creativity.
Challenges involve them creating exciting products for themselves by using the laser cutter. Through this they learn Inkscape - a software that requires you to make drawings of your idea on the computer which can then be laser cut. They understand the concept of digital fabrication and it's advantages.
How to make
We start with challenges that require them to make physical products with basic materials like cardboard. Through this they get some amount of fluency in 'building' things. They know the tools of the lab and what to use them for.
Electronics and mechanics
They bring things to life! The understand the very basics of electronics and use different sensors, motors, buzzers, LED's and more to make projects that move. The each recieve a 'Khelo' kit that is theirs to keep till the end of the year. They understand how to make things move the way they want it to.
Engaging them with real world problems
Putting together all their leaning, students are now given a very real design challenge they must execute. We invite a real company to give our young designers a challenge. This may range from re-imagining classroom furniture to coming up with new ice cream flavours. While all students are guided through prototyping their ideas,the ideas that best suit the company’s requirements would be refined and made into a mock product.
3D modelling and 3D printing
Students learn to visualise and create designs in three dimensions, ranging from the simple to the complex. They learn 3D modelling software and 3D printing, by making and printing their own designs. The challenges start simply, but become more open-ended very quickly, forcing students to draw upon all their design thinking experience from before.
Power of Programming
Through hand-on projects using intuitive and fun games, students learn the basics of programming and how it can be an extension of design thinking. By the end of the module, they will be designing their own apps, websites and games. Students create blogs and portfolios to share their work.
Purposeful innovation for real world problems
Now emerges an interface between hardware and software. Using ever more complex programs, electronics, mechanics, and also empathy and critical thought, students solve problems of increasing difficulty. The stress is on purposeful innovation to tackle real life issues.