scientific method, Design Thinking can also be embedded into
student thinking to help them become change-makers of the
Consider sustainability: Beyond product design that serves a
human need, students can base problem statements with the
lens of sustainability (economic, social, ecological) to help them
see similarities in global challenges. This focus on a broader
societal need, whether local or global, connects students to the
significant issues that will challenge their generation.
“Community centered design” gives a broader perspective:
Human-centered design is limiting in that it does not include an
ecological perspective. Using the scientific method can include
data that cannot be gathered from humans alone.
We see this as an evolution in how we teach and design curriculum. Our
next steps include embedding design learning experiences into our week-long field education programs, finishing the development of our
educational framework, and continuing to transfer and test the model
among the network of schools connected to TSS via our place-based
educational approach. While students still occasionally print out plastic
figurines on the 3-D printer, the community-based design approach is
helping TSS realize its mission to connect people, nature, and place
through education, science, and stewardship.