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Category : Design Thinking

13 Nov 2017

Real-World Problems with Real-World Solutions

At Mount Vernon, we blur the lines between school and real-life, empowering all learners to be seekers and explorers, and equipping them with the tools to impact the world around them. When Love Beyond Walls, an Atlanta non-profit, approached Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) and Mount Vernon Presbyterian School about the premier of their new documentary, Voiceless, an authentic opportunity for students to experience another lap in design thinking emerged.  Here was a real-world user with a real-world problem […]

19 Oct 2017

Choreographer or Teacher? by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post by Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty at MVPS. This is post #3 in a series about 7th graders engaging in a design project as biomedical engineers.  === Choreographer or Teacher? I always struggle with how the beginning of a PBL is supposed to go. I have been under the assumption that the mark of a good PBL is when an entry event naturally leads students to the driving question. I agree with 50% of this statement. In my […]

17 Oct 2017

Design with Empathy, by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post by Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty at MVPS. This is post #2 in a series about 7th graders engaging in a design project as biomedical engineers.  === My students were about to embark on a design challenge to create medical solutions that could potentially be used by humans. I couldn’t help but think, how can I mentor them to be better than the medical professionals that I have come across? One memory stood out to me and I […]

28 Sep 2017

Biomedical Engineers in 7th Grade, by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post from Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty. This is the first post of a series. === Mount Vernon Capstone Design Project: The Birth Story I learned a very important fact at a Research & Design science team meeting last year: our students have one opportunity to learn the basics of human anatomy… and that is in seventh grade. If students become passionate about this subject, then they have the choice to take an additional elective course in the upper […]

28 Aug 2017

Only the right problem will lead to the right solution

“What are my options?  And which is the best option?” When faced with an issue, most people spend a lot of time working on solution-finding and how to fix the problem.  We brain storm, make webs of ideas and just try to make it better.  At #fuse17, a design thinking conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Bo Adams and Trey Boden explained why it’s really the problem, not the solution, that we need to focus on. “You need to spend more time […]

23 Aug 2017

Empathy as Translation of Souls

You will never be the expert of someone else’s experience. – Mike Young At its very essence, design thinking is “human-centered problem solving.” It is caring enough and being curious enough so that our compassion motivates us to refuse to quit until we’ve uncovered the root of an issue and discovered possible solutions to apply. It is collaborative, as we must resist the urge to solve for someone versus solving with someone. So what’s the key to doing this work […]

22 Aug 2017

Adding a Little SPARK

How do you get ready to work with a group of people that you don’t know? How do you get ready to work with a group of people that you do know? How do you get your mental engines warmed up for the task ahead of your team? While there are many answers to these questions, my favorite one is to add a little SPARK. I was introduced to the idea of a SPARK during one of the first design […]

16 Dec 2016

Future Frame: A New Tool From MVIFI

On November 2 MVIFI had the opportunity to partner with multiple Atlanta based organizations and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation (AMBFF). The organizations were selected to be a part of what is now known as the STEAM Pipeline project that hopes to accelerate access to STEAM experiences for all students in the Atlanta area. MVIFI was asked by AMBFF to facilitate the first meet-up of this group to help establish a Design Thinking mindset and foster the teaming process […]

28 Nov 2016

The Movement: Transforming Education

BY ANYA SMITH (ADAPTED FROM PERSONAL BLOG PINYABANANAS) A few weeks ago, 42 students and some smaller number of adults, were gathered from 15 different schools across 13 different states for a conference called SparkHouse hosted by Education Reimagined held in Washington D.C. I want to take a few minutes to reflect on the experience: TAKE AWAYS: Relationships are key in a learner-centered environment: between students, teachers, families, and the community; every student needs to have the feeling of being known, […]

09 Nov 2016

The Impact Misconception

By Jim Tiffin Jr (Cross-posted on my personal blog, Building Capacity) Look closely at the image of the moon’s surface atop this post. What do you see? Take 30 seconds and make a quick list of 10 things that you notice about the picture. (This is like the first half of the Visible Thinking Routine: Looking – 10 times 2.)     I’m willing to guess that some place in your list you made a comment about the craters on the […]