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Design Challenge Learning

The Tech Museum of Innovation's Design Challenge Learning approach engages students in the design process to solve a relevant, real-world problem. Students reinforce their science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts content knowledge, through an open-ended design process that results in an original, team-driven solution. Students take responsibility for assessing their own progress and incorporate peer feedback as they conceptualize and redesign their projects.

"I love how the lab included an opportunity for revision, of the design structure as well as the collaborative process".

—7th grade teacher, Mary Collins School

Design Challenge Learning gives students the space to collaborate and innovate as they create unique solutions to real-world science and engineering challenges.  Leveraging the design process illustrated below, students learn scientific concepts as they brainstorm, design, build, test, and redesign their way to creative solutions.

Reinforcing concepts they’re learning in school, students develop 21st century skills of creativity, problem solving, design, collaboration, leadership, risk-taking, perseverance, and learning from failure. Through this try, fail, learn approach, students develop skills and habits of mind of Silicon Valley innovators.

Through the design process, students build broad skills useful throughout their lives, regardless of the specifics of the challenge. This open-ended approach leads to the creation of numerous designs, and students are challenged to apply their knowledge, personal experiences, passions, and talents to the process of creating an inventive, team-driven solution.

This creates a truly powerful learning experience, where students are intrinsically motivated to learn and feel the success that comes from achieving a goal as a team.