One Workplace was thrilled to be a sponsor and presenter at the very first reMAKE Education Summit, hosted in the new 180 Studios community makerspace in Santa Rosa this past week. The three day event was filled with making, tinkering, presentations, and classes all focused on providing educators with tools to bring making into their classrooms. The event was organized by Dan Blake and his dedicated team at Sonoma County Office of Education and featured an impressive keynote list including Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk and Dale Dougherty, the founder and CEO of Maker Media.

Chris Good and Kate Rancourt from our Learning Environments team were excited to facilitate a workshop during this event titled, “Think, Make, Learn: The Maker Movement Meets Design Thinking”.

The workshop was overflowing and filled with buzz—rightfully so! We believe that design thinking is an exciting and powerful mindset for the classroom. We wanted the attendees to walk away realizing what we believe about making; that it can be integrated into any subject, for any grade, with any tools!

Starting out the presentation with one of our favorite Improv warm-ups, “Yes, And” helped get us into a mindset of collaboration, building on each other’s ideas, and not letting your team’s ideas fail. This activity also gets the team comfortable with blurting out wild and crazy ideas without feeling like they might be judged. We’ve found that more times than not, the idea that started out the craziest was actually most innovative and with a little contouring and brainstorming, reshaped into the most breakthrough solution.

We then broke into teams and brainstormed, iterated, and prototyped solutions for three distinct problems, focusing on history and social sciences directed to fourth grade California learning standards. We wanted to use history and social sciences to show that design thinking and making can be used in any curriculum, and by approaching problems in a “How Might We” mindset, we can learn a lot by doing.

Teachers explored challenges unique to California’s history, agriculture and geography as they prototyped solutions for Russian River salmon, Westward expansion, and agricultural insect infestation.

The results were innovative, thoughtful, and most of all fun. Models built from pipe cleaners, construction paper, tape, and feathers helped to tell the story of the team’s solution to their assigned problem. We were honored to be a part of such an important event and can’t wait until next year’s summit.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to our team about how you might implement the maker mindset or design thinking into your classroom, we would love to hear from you.

Below you can find the downloads of example lesson plans and instructions for the challenges!

THINK MAKE LEARN Example Lesson Plan