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Design Thinking + SEH: Empathy and Resilience in the Elementary Classroom

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, June 24, 3:00–4:00 pm
Location: Room 125

Jennifer Grauberger   Amanda Neuschafer   Brianna Sanford  
In sharing our story of distance collaboration between two elementary schools, we will demonstrate through audience participation how social emotional skills, like empathy and resilience, are strengthened through Design Thinking. Participants will move through a Design Challenge alongside our students, working through the social emotional challenges along the way.

Audience: Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Google Drive,
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Maker activities and programs
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
  • Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will experience a Rapid Design Challenge based off Design Thinking from Stanford
Participants will see evidence of student application of Design Thinking and social emotional skills within the classroom and in real life.
Participants will understand how to use Design Thinking and distance collaboration to build social emotional skills in the elementary classroom.


1. Intro & Overview (1 min)
a. Design Challenge Distance Collaboration between Momentous Institute and Good Shepard Episcopal School (GSES)
b. Fostering Social Emotional Health (SEH)
c. Beyond the Challenge
2. Distance Collaboration (2 min)
3. Social Emotional Health (3 min)
a. Show our (Momentous) Social Emotional Health Model
b. What social emotional skills do you think are needed?
4. Design Thinking (Stanford (49 min)
Show how we (Momentous + GSES) did it
Participants partner up and empathize (peer-to-peer)
a. Empathize
b. Define
c. Ideate
d. Prototype
e. Test
f. Reflection (4 min)
5. Beyond the Challenge (5 min)
a. Fostering Grit through Design Thinking in the classroom
b. Student application to real life

Supporting research

Park, A., Thierry, K., Norris, K., & Venzor, E. (2018). Optimism: A unique predictor of reading achievement in urban elementary school students. Manuscript submitted for publication. (Momentous Institute)

Empathy Uniquely Predicts Reading and Math Achievement by Anna Park, Erika Venzor, & Karen Thierry. A conference presentation based off internal research. (Momentous Institute)

Bernard, Bonnie. “Fostering Resilience in Children. ERIC Digest.” Transactional Theory in the Teaching of Literature. ERIC Digest., ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills Urbana IL., Aug. 1995,

Meindl, P., Yu, A., Galla, B. M., Quirk, A., Haeck, C., Goyer, J. P., ... & Duckworth, A. L. (in press). A brief behavioral measure of frustration tolerance predicts academic achievement immediately and two years later. Emotion.

Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101.

Melles, Gavin, et al. “Teaching Design Thinking: Expanding Horizons in Design Education.” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 31, 2012, pp. 162–166., doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.12.035.

More [+]


Jennifer Grauberger, Momentous Institute
Amanda Neuschafer, Good Shepard Episcopal School
Brianna Sanford, Momentous Institute

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