On Friday 26 November, I had the privilege of running a design thinking workshop as part of the It Takes a Spark EduConference at All Saints College in Perth.
Around YOUR World in Eighty Minutes is a rapid-fire rendition of our STEAMpunk Adventures Series of workshops that can be tailored for different age groups, communities, and duration. The purpose of this particular workshop was to give teachers and students a very quick view of how students engage in a design thinking setting where they are empowered to define their own challenge, empathise with users, ideate to come up with inventions and solutions to solve the problem and finally pitch their project to all participants.
All this in 80 minutes with over 40 students aged 10 to 14, and the teachers only allowed to guide. Needless to say, the time approached at a very rapid speed, the students approached the challenges with the energy, enthusiasm, and creativity that was not hampered by years of being told what to do and how to do it.
And rather than being constrained to six teams as planned, the participants self-organised into 9 teams.
YES, it was chaotic at times, and there were times where we had to stay truly agile and let it all flow. The thought “we’re NEVER going to be able to get it all done” flew into my head several times, but guess what… we did get through it all, and the students were absolutely stellar in their approach.
We had teams tackling some pretty massive challenges including:
- gender equality by a small primary school team – mostly boys
- poverty and how we might solve this by providing equitable education for those less fortunate
- ocean pollution impact on 1) fishermen and 2) fisherwomen (interesting to look at pollution through a gender lens)
- education for all – can it be solved by making sure everyone gets public education
- impact of smoking by teenagers and the cost of health and environmental impact
- saving trees to save the environment
The solutions were innovative and interesting, and the pitches included skits, role plays, costumes and other fun elements.
As part of our promise to amplify the social impact of STEAMpunk Adventures and STEAM Engine Global, we asked the participants to select projects that they wanted us to support in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through B1G1.com.
These are the projects they picked and the impact we created. I am so proud of each and every one participant and absolutely stoked to be part of a greater movement.