What is the Design Thinking Process?

The design thinking process is a series of steps you follow to create a solution to an open-ended problem. The process creates an environment of growth and experimentation. Students seek multiple solutions, plan, test, evaluate, and redesign. As a result, more effective solutions develop.

Design thinking is used in every Mind Missions lesson.

Identify: Identify the problem? What do you need to do to solve the problem?

Brainstorm: Imagine solutions. Choose the best idea.

Design: Make a plan. What steps will you take to create your solution?

Build: Follow your plan and create something.

Test and Evaluate: Test it out! What worked well?  What needs improvement?

Redesign: Modify your design. Test it again.

Share your solution!

Engineering the Design Thinking Process

Providing instruction in design thinking for elementary students is powerful. Students develop important problem solving and analytical skills. More importantly, students learn the benefit of multiple iterations to reach successful solutions. They learn from their mistakes and reframe them as opportunities. This type of thinking promotes a growth mindset. Students learn resilience. These qualities will help students to find solutions for the problems of tomorrow.

Why does Design Thinking matter?

Successful innovation is complex. It requires a team to frame a problem and experiment. Then, the team has to examine the outcome. In many cases, they must redesign their original idea. The nature of innovation is change. After committing to one idea, it can be difficult to accept the limitations of the idea. It can be challenging to accept a mission flop.

The design thinking process provides a framework for innovation. It requires the examination of potential solutions. There is a method for improving processes. Instead of moving forward with a failing concept, teams evaluate and improve. This skill is helpful in all areas of life and Mind Missions success!

Ready to get started teaching collaboration, critical-thinking, communication, & creative problem solving in your classroom?