The Hill School- The Family Boarding School

Design Thinking at The Hill

Hill's Design Thinking for World Change course offers students an opportunity to work on projects within our community and beyond through a human-centered approach to solving real-world problems by understanding users’ needs and developing insights that can impact individuals and communities. Through dialogue, observation, and empathy with the end users, students will learn how to ideate solutions that fit into the environment. This process is called Design Thinking. Students will research, interview and connect with end users. Students will prototype and present projects to the end user. Emphasis will be placed on creativity, collaborative thinking, class participation, and oral presentation. Projects have included working with Sodexo (Hill's dining services) to reduce food waste, redesigning the tech lab and, working with nonprofit organizations such as Operation Backpack and the Ricketts Center/Olivett Boys and Girls Club.

A Design Thinking Approach to Community Service

Students in Mrs. Diane Richards’ Intro to Design Thinking class are introduced to a five-step plan of creative problem-solving based on a human-centered approach.

During the 2015-16 academic year, Mrs. Richards and students Michael Vanelli ‘19 and Maggie Pearson ’18 learned The Ricketts Center, the local Olivet boys’ and girls’ club, was not usually open on Saturdays due to budget constraints. For the sake of neighborhood kids, they wanted to change that situation, and the students worked with Mrs. Richards during the spring term and over the summer to create a plan for the 2016-17 academic year. A partnership has now been established where Hill School students and faculty volunteer on “Open Saturdays” (built into The Hill’s class schedule), which allows the Center to be open. Watch this video to learn more about this transformative program.

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