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Students will learn about design thinking and rapid prototyping as a method to solve challenges.  Design thinking is a method for solving problems by first developing empathy for the individuals affected by the challenge.  Students began this process during unit one while investigating their communities. They will use this information to identify challenges in their communities, then select one challenge for which they wish to investigate further and develop a solution.  Design teams will be created to provide expert advice to students throughout the unit. Rapid prototyping will be used to create a solution quickly and test that solution in order to make improvements and run through this process several times. By the end of this unit, students will have their solution prototyped and ready to present to their design teams and the MFC student cohort.


This lesson contains a 4-step process to guide students through identifying and selecting challenges.

  • STEP 1:  Students summarize community challenges and select one to develop a solution

  • STEP 2:  Based on the challenge selected, students will select a design team to support their prototyping work.

  • STEP 3:  Students will delve deeper into their selected challenges to identify constraints.

  • STEP 4:  Students will present the challenge to the class before starting the prototyping process (OPTIONAL)

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This lesson will occupy the most amount of time throughout the school year.  Students will move through the following 5-step process multiple times to prototype their solutions.

  • STEP 1:  Brainstorm multiple solutions for their selected challenge

  • STEP 2:  Select one solution from the brainstorm session from which to move forward with the prototyping process.

  • STEP 3:  Prototype the solution they have selected.

  • STEP 4:  Test the prototype in the correct setting.

  • STEP 5:  Iterate:  Depending on the solution, students will work through the process several times before finalizing a prototype.

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