Design-Thinking Rapid-Prototype Roulette

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Brian Wildeman  
Play a round of rapid-prototype roulette! Randomly select a client, a need and a constraint. You could be working for lumberjacks who need an incognito way to relax, or for librarians who need an inflatable way to tell time. Create prototypes using office supplies, found objects and design thinking.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS, Android, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: an internet browser
Topic: Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Performing/visual arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this workshop is to engage in a fun design thinking exercise that can also be utilized a classroom lesson for grades 5-12. In the context of this workshop the only technological tool needed is the randomizer website. In the context of a remote teaching plan, students would need access to a video camera or smart phone and perhaps some video editing software.


Present Design thinking, the concept of a rapid prototype and briefly the lesson / activity plan - 5 minutes

Involve the participants in naming ideas for the following three categories, who they are designing for (ocupation), what problem they are designing, and a design constraint they must accommodate. 5 minutes

Depending on the number of participants, establish teams, 10 teams at most - 4 min

Use the rule of names randomizer to assign a specific criteria from each of the three categories to each team 8 min.

Teams work to build their rapid prototypes. Simultaneously share the youtube links of my students' examples 17 minutes

Teams present / pitch their prototypes and reflect 5 -10 minutes

Supporting research

Stanford University is the leader in Design Thinking education. ISTE certification class module 3

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Brian Wildeman, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

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