Discovery Center Education Programs

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process rooted in a set of skills that are used to solve a whole range of problems. In this virtual lesson, students consider design thinking as a process and explore some of the key aspects of human-centered designs and innovations. Students will consider how to use design thinking to create objects and systems that improve lives. Students will practice their design thinking skills, particularly focusing on empathy and inclusion through design.

Note: When you are booking, please indicate which of the specific design challenges below you would like your group to think about– please sign up for additional sessions if you would like to participate in additional design challenges. You are welcome to join us again for more design programs if age-appropriate.

  • Education System
  • Water Access
  • Plastic Pollution

All grades 4+ & Young Adult/Adult

This presentation works best if each student is utilizing their own device so we can utilize online polls, the chat feature and other digital tools. However, we are happy to work with you in whatever classroom environment you are in.

In this virtual experience, students will participate in the design thinking process through various design challenges, chosen at the time of booking. The three challenges focus on issues in education, water access and plastic pollution. They will consider the importance of empathy and the many elements that go into design. During the session, students’ participation is critical and are encouraged to share in a variety of formats. Students need a piece of paper and writing utensil to participate in design challenges during the presentation.


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“It was such a great opportunity to think about design, innovation and the world in a new way, especially since they are all doing virtual learning from home. Many want to learn more about the Gates Foundation and Design Thinking and work on some projects of their own inspired by your workshop.”
– Afterschool Enrichment Coordinator



Below you will find resources, including design cards to help students consider different elements of good design. Students can use the optional Community Design worksheet to guide them through a design challenge.

Design Cards Activity

These design cards help students consider different elements of good design.

Community Design Worksheet

Students can use the optional Community Design worksheet to guide them through a design challenge.

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