Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Design in the Classroom

Last Friday, 5th grade students were given an opportunity to explore design as part of everyday life. Design Museum Educator, Pamela Lawton, taught an introductory workshop intended for all audiences including those who are new to design thinking. Students were engaged in conversations and participated in a hands-on design activity as a vehicle for project-based learning about designing. 

Students were only given a few art materials and a scenario in which they needed to design an object for a specific purpose. In one particular 5th grade class, students presented their finished design project as if it was a real product!  A spokesman for one of the teams acted out how groceries would be brought up several flights of stairs with their product! "What makes design and art different is that designers generally work in teams", explains Ms. Lawton. "I was really impressed with how PS4 students collaborated in teams and role-played", she says, "they went above and beyond what I've seen in other schools".
Students in 520 admire their design.

Krisnel A. using her design.

Museum educator Pamela Lawton keeps an eye on the young designers.
Ms. Cabral, co-teacher of class 521, found the workshop very informative.  "It made me realize that designers really have to think about the user", she says.  "This workshop developed my students imagination and allowed them to think deeply about the cultural differences between the Dominican Republic and the plays a big role in our students creativity".

For more information about the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, located in Manhattan, click here!

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