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Introduce design related subjects at an early age

As Thomas Edison once said "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Nurture children to face creative tasks and give them the opportunity to experiment their theory and learn from their mistake is very important.

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However, the age of introducing design related subjects the UK school system is at year 8 (age 12). And I think there are ways for school to help children explore their creativeness. Most high school introduces DT (Design and Technology) at year 8 (age12). The reason why DT could not introduce at the same time as art is because high level of skills and basic knowledge is required plus safety reasons in workshop.

School should try to introduce lessons similar to DT at the start of primary school (age6+). But instead of complex design and workshop lessons, include teams building activities like the marshmallow challenge allow them to work together share their ideas and build their confidence at the same time. The lesson does not have to be in the same year groups, a mix year group allow lower year gaining support from upper year and upper year will build confidence not only in design but planning, organizing and leadership in front of large groups.

Simple challenge you can try at home

Marshmallow challenge

The task is simple: in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti,one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.

Take the Marshmallow challenge for example most people will plan at first, and then put the marshmallow on top of the structure at the end.However, because of the weight of the marshmallow the structures are more likely the fall. The best way to tackle this challenge is by treating it as a prototype at the start. Keep putting the marshmallow at top of the structure after each improvement. A way teaches children to understand that failure is the base of success!

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

Teachers could also apply simple tool kit such as LEGO and playdough as teaching resources. Allow student to borrowed tool kit home for weekends and work on a build as the homework and home will help them to build basic knowledge and design planning at an early age. Children can also ask the family members for ideas and help for the fun homework.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

Conferences with the governments and other education related communities talk about ideas and introduce it to further countries and cultures which can help spread across globally to allow the idea to inspire others to do it.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

Help on my concept to improve the idea or any other parts that need to be worked on or developed will help me build and refine my idea.

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Interesting thoughts Yamaha, I remember when I first started DT in Secondary school. I absolutely loved it. Being able to do these design related activities in Primary school when you're quite young would be great as it would allow young children to see what's ahead of them in the future (Secondary school) and what they could possibly want to lead into in terms of jobs, even though it's very early for them haha! Also the marshmallow challenge sounds very fun! Good work.

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Even though it's a bit early for young children to think about their future career, it is also a chance for them to have a go at the design industry! Design in secondary school is a combination of art, math and physics. Unlike other subjects such as art or music, that's easy to introduce!

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