idesign is the design-inclusive steam competition for students grades 5-8
the only steam competition that brings design thinking front and center.
Design provides us with tools with which we can become beter thinkers, problem solvers and humans. idesign is a program that helps teaches kids those tools. By working on real-world problems, kids can get in touch their our most creative selves in order to do what design does best: make things just a litle bit better.
practical challenges that teach design methodologies & inspire empathy.
idesign challenges feature real-world problems that exist within the world view of an average middle school student. Our goal is to prove application for process in a way that inspires kids to find other ways they can improve their lives using design. Each challenge features "wrenches" thrown periodically that add criteria for young designers to manage, creating a realistic problem solving environment, as well as a safe introduction to interviewing & ethnography that instill a sense of empathy and compassion.
curriculum integrated, sponsor funded, mentor guided, student driven.
a curriculum that gamifies the design process through approachable activities.
The idesign curriculum breaks down each step of the design process into activities that guide young designers through the process and give them the tools to make it their own. At the end of each phase, there are checklists that give a visual overview of the chapter's learning objectives and create a loose framework that reminds kids of the steps involved while encouraging them to play with the process and find ways for it to work for them as a tool for solving problems.
tools for problem solving that have use in the competition and beyond.
Design can be tough, but at its core are a number of tools used to make each step of the way a little easier. Many of these have been complied into a deck of cards, broken down into: research, ideas, and visualization. The cards are designed to carry through the gamification used throughout the challenge and each feature an illustration of the activity and a short description of how to apply it. Every participant will prefer some methods to others, and that’s fine. They'll emember those ones in the future!
designed to be accessible to schools and students of all financial means.
participation in idesign costs teams just $175 and teams are restricted to a limited budget and reasonably obtainable materials to ensure fair competition.
accessible training for teachers on how to teach design methodologies.
One of the biggest challenges in launching STEM programs at schools is teacher/coach training and parent preparation. Creating an accessible program necessitated multiple entry points for teachers and parents. Schools can host a one day workshop that condenses the same design process taught in the curriculum, geared towards teacher preparation. Schools unable to do this have access to online video content as well as all the resources needed to start and manage an idesign team.