Design Thinking Activity for Year 7 Transition Day

In January, our school will expand as we welcome 200 new Year 7 students and begin our MYP journey.  We held a number of transition activities, one of which was an adaptation of Wallet Project from Stanford’s d.School, a fast-paced project that takes students through a full design cycle. In place of students designing a wallet for another student, for our adaptation, we asked students to think about the challenges they may face in their first few weeks in their new high school. We devised this adaptation  for a number of reasons:

  1. We are a select entry school and the students come from over 40 feeder schools meaning that a student may not have many, or even any, friends joining them. We wanted to find a way for a student to connect with least one other student beyond a superficial acquaintance.
  2. Many students travel long distances to get to the school each day and may have to use public transport. This means students may have many new challenges with long days that require planning and organisational skills to ensure they have a charged laptop, snacks, travel cards, sports kits and more.
  3. We will be introducing MYP Design which is different from the Australian digital technologies curriculum area that they are used to. We wanted an opportunity to give them an heads-up of what they might expect.

Click here for the Design Thinking Student Booklet we put together to lead the students through this process.

Here are a few of the challenges that students faced with some very creative solutions:

Challenge – I need to be organised in the morning to ensure I take everything to work.  Solution – A talking pancake that will conduct a breakfast briefing.

Challenge – I find it hard to make friends. Solution – A friendly hologram that will make friends for the student.

Challenge – I get anxious about coming to school and don’t sleep well. Solution – A calming bedtime story.

Here our the timings that we used:

Task/Action Who Time
Organise students into tables/seating ALL 10
Introduction and examples Facilitator 6
Sketch your own ideas for what you might put in your own SK Students 3
INTRODUCE TASK (orientation of booklet); STAGE 1  Instructions, definition, next step Facilitator 3
EMPATHIZE: Student A interviews Student B Student A 3
EMPATHIZE: Student B interviews Student A Student B 3
EXPATHIZE: Dig Deeper Facilitator 2
EMPATHIZE: Dig Deeper ( A interviews B) Student A 2
EMPATHIZE: Dig Deeper ( B interviews A) Student B 2
DEFINING THE PROBLEM: Model for students Facilitator 3
DEFINIING THE  PROBLEM: Students write Students 3
IDEATE: Model for students Facilitator 3
IDEATE: Students draw their own ideas Students 4
IDEATE: Share and receive feedback – Modelling Facilitator 3
IDEATE: Student A shares with Student B Student A 3
IDEATE: Student B shares with Student A Student B 3
IDEATE: Reflect and sketch your solution INSTRUCTiONS Facilitator 2
IDEATE: Reflect and sketch your solution Students 3
PROTOTYPE: Build Facilitator 2
PROTOTYPE: Build Students 12
CLEAN UP Students 5
TEST: 2 minutes to show Student A 2
TEST: 3 minutes to share ideas Student A 3
TEST: 2 minutes to show Student B 2
TEST: 3 minutes to share ideas Student B 3
PRESENT TO OTHERS  – on table of 4 Facilitator 3
PRESENT: Students share (1 minute each) Students in 4 4
CONCLUDE and finish ALL 5

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