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6th Grade BCIL Design Thinking Workshop
by Betsy Sandler and Jonathan Arriarán, 6th Grade Teachers

This week, 6th Grade students participated in a design thinking workshop with our Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership. Our new middle schoolers were excited by their first design thinking challenge—to reimagine the Middle School lunch experience. 

First, students reflected on their own lunchtime experiences and interviewed each other with a focus on empathy. Students then reframed the challenge and were encouraged to brainstorm possibilities to enhance the Middle School lunch experience. After that they rapidly designed and built prototypes of their proposed solutions using popsicle sticks, glue, straws, post-it notes, paper, and tape.

Our students were creative and demonstrated impressive out-of-the-box thinking. Gryffin G. and Toby D. recommended splitting the lines between grade levels to lessen wait times whereas Marli W. and Maddy W. focused on table arrangements and the layout of trash cans to increase social interaction and make cleanup smoother. Aiden S. recommended a pre-order system to address wait times as well as a classic student struggle, the forgotten Eagle Card.

At the end of the activity, students received feedback about their solutions. Sixth graders will continue to use the design thinking process later this semester during the BCIL Innovation Challenge.

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