Imagine a day with no bells. A day where students are able to unleash their creative genius without the interruption; where there is no wrong answer and all possibilities are considered. Dayton Junior High and High School’s Design Challenge Days did just this.

Students discussing ideas during the Design Challenge Days

Students in grades 6th through 12th worked in collaborative groups on three consecutive Mondays to solve problems within the school and community. Utilizing the design challenge principles that came out of the Stanford Design School, students listened to others’ ideas to gathered empathy data before defining an actual problem. Once defined, they brainstormed ideas for solutions and then developed and tested a prototype.

One of the challenges was to bring new refreshing drinks to the students and staff. The challenge taught them to think about more than just themselves; they learned to consider what would be best for others in order to be successful. Ultimately, they decided on designing a water dispenser with the goal of giving better filtered water to the school.

In the design challenges, students and teachers learned to put their minds together to come up with a way to solve real life problems. This new way of learning changed their points of view, taught them to work together and helped them find creative solutions to real problems.