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    Teach Your Students to Make a Difference through Design

    Kellyanne Mahoney
    Published on - November 8, 2019 by Kellyanne Mahoney

    Teachers & Parents

    makeitreal challenges

    What happens when your students combine their imagination with the technology at their fingertips? They can design and make a future that is more sustainable, more beautiful, more healthy, and more just.

    One way to work together with your students to promote the greater good is by facilitating a Design Slam in your classroom. Design Slams are a challenge of creativity, skill, and presentation. They introduce the design thinking process by creating a fun environment for participants to look at problems differently and pursue solutions based on quick decision-making. Regardless of their skill level, students have the opportunity to apply their design- and critical- thinking skills and pitch their ideas in a visible gathering that promotes youth leadership, industry and community involvement, and innovation.

    Recently, we published a series of lessons meant to help teachers of all grade levels lead a Design Slam with their students:

    • Grades preK-5: Make for Everyone asks, How might we redesign our public spaces to encourage inclusivity and foster community?
    • Grades 6-8: Make It Green asks, How might we use design to address climate change?
    • Grades 9-12: Make Justice asks, How might we use design to address: affordable housing, disaster relief, and/or equitable access to resources?

    make it green binca
    Through participating in these challenges, your students will be able to rethink the things we make and how we make them in order to help people in their own communities.

    In addition, schools in New England that complete one of the design challenges can earn a chance to win a makerspace. More info on that here.

    We can't wait to see what you and your students make! Good luck!!!