Did you know that Ben Franklin invented bifocals or swim fins? The students in Mrs. Loughborough's class do! Not only have they been studying the inventions of Benjamin Franklin, they have also been creating inventions of their own, using the Design Thinking Process.
What is the Design Thinking Process?
Design thinking is not about graphic design but rather about solving problems through the use of design. In an educational setting it is an approach to learning, collaboration, and problem solving; on that is structured around identifying challenges, gathering information, generating potential solutions, refining ideas, and testing solutions.
Our 3rd graders have a weekly Design Class with Mrs. Bobbi Jarvis, a design educator and inventor. In this class, the 3rd graders each came up with a design problem that they encounter in their everyday life. They sketched out several solutions to the problem, chose the best one and then built and tested prototypes made out of recycled materials. The project culminated in the "Invention Convention", a presentation of their design solutions to their peers and parents.
"The Wake Up Call"
The Problem: Waking up in the morning can be a challenge.
"The Wake Up Call helps you wake up happy. This pill wakes you up at the time you set on the mini clock that is inside the pillow. The pillow starts to vibrate, light up and play a song to wake you on on the time you set. This pillow also massages your head for a good night's sleep." - Grace
The Problem: How can we get something upstairs more easily?
"It helps you move many objects from one floor to the other. First, you place your object that you want to transport in the bin at the top of the the transporter, next you crank the lever down which spins the wheels and moves the rope which is tied to the bin. There is also a crank at the bottom and the top so you can run it from either floor." - Dashiell
"The Book Easel"
The problem: How can you read at night when you're tired?
"It makes holding your books at night easy. It comes with a pocket which is attached to the side of your bed. You have a book easel so you don't have to hold your book at night when you're tired. The Book Easel has rods to hold the book on and a switch to turn the pages. It comes with a pocket with rods that slip under the mattress so it stays next to your bed and you don't lose your book. It also comes with a joke book and felt markers to decorate the pocket." - Annie
Bobby designed "The Reading Dome"
The Problem: How can you read at night if you share a room?
"If you have a roommate this is very helpful. The Reading Dome stops people from fighting about turning off the lights so they can sleep. It holds up the covers and blocks the light so you can stay warm and read at the same time. It does it by special light blocking foam. The Reading Dome is also very roomy." - Bobby
"The Shoe Bug"
The Problem: How to find that missing shoe?
"The Shoe Bug helps people find their shoes and collects them. This is a robot that has a remote in its back. The way it works is you can say what shoe you're looking for and it finds it. The Shoe Bug has a compartment, when it finds your shoe it stores it in the compartment. It also cleans your shoes." - Gwen
"The Toilet Tube"
The Problem: What happens if you run out of toilet paper?
"I invented this so you never run out of toilet paper. My invention is able to hold many rolls of toilet paper. When the roll is used up, a new roll shoots through the tube. When the Toilet Tube is low on toilet paper it alerts you with two beeps that more rolls need to be refilled." - Madeleine
"The Travel Pod"
The Problem: How can you travel with all of your belongings?
"The Travel Pod is a living space that you can take with you wherever you go. This Travel Pod has a kitchen, bed, bathroom, and two awesome TVs. It also hoovers to travel. The best thing is that you can meet your friends anywhere in the world and link the Travel Pods together." - Fisher
"Find Your Pet"
The Problem: How can you find your pet if it is lost?
"The Find Your Pet is a collar that helps your find your pets. You can download a GPS app on your phone and there is a GPS chip inside their collar. The chip lives in a waterproof pocket so the track still works if your pet gets water on it or goes swimming. You can find your pet anywhere with this pet tracker." - Noura
"The Helping Hand"
The Problem: How can you keep dirty laundry and dishes from building up?
"You have to program the robot on dish mode or laundry mode. There is a remote that you use to turn it on and off. The mechanical hand takes the laundry out of the washer and puts it in the dryer. It also takes dishes from the sink and puts it in the dishwasher." - Henry
Gavin designed "The Lego Sorting Factory" aka L.S.F
The Problem: How can you keep your Legos organized?
This machine saves time sorting legos into containers. The L.S.F looks like a factory, it has a tube coming from the top, it looks like a smokestack. You drop the Lego in the tube then it sorts itself automatically. When it's inside, mini tubes sort them into the right bins. I made this machine for when me and my brother play legos, we make a mess and it takes so long to clean and when I'm looking for a piece the bins are so mixed up I can't find it! Well if you're a person like me, this is for you. There's a door to open it up and play with the legos." - Gavin