The students immerse themselves in the entire design process, from research and ideation to 3D modeling, final prototypes and ultimately launch. The intent of the 6-month program is to emphasize the process of design and the methodology of design thinking, rather than the end product. Therefore, the course will be broken into traditional design phases, with a dominant focus on initial research and focus on initial research and concept formulation. The students will be asked to utilize their math, science and communication skills to conceive functional, proportional and fully thought-out design-solutions. Furthermore, they will be asked to craft presentations to effectively communicate their initial ideas and final products visually, verbally and in writing.
To be as applicable to the real world as possible, each year will focus on familiar products they encounter in their everyday environment. Ultimately, the students will experience the magic of design when they witness their ideas come to life on the factory floor.
Each year, the program will be headed by Tools at Schools, who will be joined by a different brand manufacturing partner and your school.
They will work together to teach design thinking to the students. The topic and category of products they will set out to define and re-thing can change annually.
Every partnering company will work closely with the students to gather insights, create final prototypes and ultimately bring them to market launch. While the launch details will vary annually pending the conceived products at hand, it will involve students presenting to serve as the spokespeople for their ideas and products. Therefore, the brand and manufacturing partner will need to adhere to the following commitments:
- Minimum 6-month time frame with monthly check ins
- Creation of a minimum 1 final prototype
- A launch platform (Digital or Physical)
- Any other elements deemed necessary for the specific project at hand
The intent of the annual Tools at Schools program goes beyond introducing design as a powerful problem-solving tool to the students, but also serves as a simple example of how industry professionals can initiate similar programs in their own backyard.