Empowering Kids to Create Their World

Empowering Kids to Create Their World

K-12 Lab is a new initiative that was started several years ago at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Our main philosophy rests on the idea of design thinking – an orientation that new, better things are possible and that you and I can make it happen. Engaging students in design thinking means helping them to be aware of the situations around them, to see that they have a role in creating them, and to decide to take action towards a more desirable future.

Four principles we hold to in design thinking:
1) Human-centered. We believe that we achieve innovative solutions by getting out and talking to experts and users both to immerse ourselves in the problem and to test our ideas.
2) Bias towards action. We act and try rather than sit around and debate.
3) Prototype-driven culture. We fail early to succeed sooner. We value a rough and rapid mentality to refine our solutions.
4) Mindfulness of process. We know where we are in the process and the direction our project needs to go next to get better.

Students are more engaged and achieve greater learning when they have ownership over real world projects in areas that they care about. Tackling huge multidisciplinary design challenges brings relevance to discipline material. Rigorously working in heterogeneous groups to create something meaningful gives students the opportunity to be innovative, creative, and collaborative – skills they will need to thrive in the 21st century.

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