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Erica commented on Preflight: Real-world challenges in the classroom

Oops I didn't read your response until after I submitted my comment, but in my experience, getting professionals and teachers on board with design thinking can be a little tricky. It is definitely a shift in the way one approaches a problem. The best way to know how it works is to participate in the process, which would be more in depth than an overview.


Erica commented on Preflight: Real-world challenges in the classroom

Hi Gavin,

First off, I want to say that I'm really impressed with your idea. I clicked on your profile and was quite surprised to find out you were 16! Great work.

I was part of the SF OpenIDEO meetup last night and I have a couple of additional thoughts!

Value add for marketing manager/business: an opportunity for good PR for a company if many of their employees participate.

Things I thought might be interesting:
1. Hosting this at a company vs. school: change of environment can be exciting, get to see/touch/experience the workplace
2. Have multiple people from the same company with different roles participate
3. Have some sort of preview/choice of different career options

But great idea overall!

I worked at a nonprofit where this was kind of our model for field trips. We would bring students to companies like IDEO, Google, Chevron, etc. I could definitely expand more on this idea if you'd like.

Key challenges:
-training the professionals to work with young people. Some people have experience with kids, and some DO NOT. And the worst thing is getting an adult in front of kids that just doesn't have the presentation skills/know-how. You don't want kids to hate a career b/c they think that person is boring.
-training teachers to facilitate design thinking challenges. Teachers are accustomed to very structured learning, so how do you get them to be comfortable with ambiguity.

Full disclosure: we did that in the afterschool space. We had spent time thinking about the design process. However, there are engineering objectives in the NGSS that include "defining a problem; generating (aka brainstorming), designing, and evaluating solutions; and finally optimizing the solution." Essentially, the most important thing kids learned was the iterative nature of design. They also got to playtest Blockly for some Google engineers and see the improved version a year later which is what is now on the website. They didn't gain any content knowledge, per se, but they did gain valuable process experience. And ultimately, those students viewed "failure" different and really approached problems fearlessly.

I re-read your question and got it finally. Haha. Would there be enough demand for students' services to create enough social impact for youth?

Hmm... I don't know. Web development immediately comes to mind. There are many small businesses that have needs there. I feel like students will have to create some sort of portfolio. How does any company ensure that they satisfied with a freelancer's work? There will definitely need to be oversight/ supports in place to help set kids up for success.

I feel like this idea needs to be combined with Libby Falk's Change, the Game. This is how students can demonstrate their skills.