Student's Design their Path 2012




Hungry and Ready to Learn, High School Students Design their Own Path


High school students today are hungry and ready to learn. However, upon graduation, many young adults are often expected to direct their life without requisite knowledge and skills. 

During an intensive workshop held at the 2012 IDSA Midwest Design Dialogue Conference in Chicago, a group of at-risk high school students from Waukegan, IL were invited to participate in a pre-conference workshop with design practitioners and college students. The purpose of the workshop was to empower these students with design thinking and 21st century learning skills as wayfinding tools they can use throughout their life. Conference attendees and high school students engaged in a guided and collaborative learning experience using a Learn.Think.Do approach.





The success of the Design Learning Workshop was reflected in the powerful feedback we received from our high school students. By the end of the session, the students took ownership of the learning process—they went from “not saying a word” to “couldn’t stop talking!” 

Post session, high school students reflected by sharing:
  • I learned to look at things from different points of view.
  • The workshop provided me with the opportunity to learn directly from real designers at real companies.
  • This experience was interesting because I learned how technology evolves.
  • Given the chance, I’d really like to attend more workshops like this.