Design Thinking

Design Thinking at Hill is a five-step process that puts brainstorming in the middle and the end user at the beginning; it’s a problem-solving system like no other that focuses on a holistic understanding of every problem. The class consists of student teams working to empathize with their “clients” and access their most creative mindsets.


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. 

Art for Social Change

During the 2018-19 academic year, Ella Heft '21 chose to focus on aspects of the #MeToo movement in an effort to bring about social change and awareness regarding domestic violence and sexual abuse. As part of her Art for Social Change project, she held a "Create a Valentine" station in the Student Center and encouraged her peers to write cards with positive messages of love and kindness. These cards - 60 in all - were sent to the Women Against Abuse, an organization in Philadelphia that provides around-the-clock service to victims of domestic violence and abuse.
 
I felt the need to use this opportunity to have the biggest impact I could on the issue and spread awareness about the cause throughout The Hill."

March for Our Lives Rally

In response to the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, Noorie Dhingra '21 organized a rally on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Pottstown's Riverfront Park. The rally was one of many that were held across the country as part of the March for Our Lives movement, created to take a stand against gun violence in schools. Noori contacted several local organizations and community leaders to help support her efforts. More than 315 people attended the rally, including Hill School and Pottstown School District students. An article about the event appeared in the Reading Eagle newspaper.
 
“Instead of deciding to make a political impact where we would protest about having stricter gun laws, we all decided that we would like to make a social impact."

Community Trick or Treat at Hill

In 2017, Efi Miller '21 and Alexander Zois '19 designed a safe and fun trick or treating event for children in the Pottstown and Hill School communities. Part of the design process was to advertise the event, solicit and collect candy donations, find volunteers to hand out candy, create games for the children to play, and find volunteers to work - in costume - at the event. The event was a success and the 2nd annual Trick or Treat at The Hill School was held in 2018.

"We choose this project because we wanted to create a safe place for the kids of Pottstown to come and trick or treat also it relieves the fears of the parents that their child is going and knocking on strangers doors."

Appeal to Add Graphic Novels to Library Collection

Garrett George '19 enjoys reading comic books and graphic novels, and knew that other students enjoyed this literary genre. However, these types of books were not available in The Hill School's John P. Ryan Library. During the 2017-18 academic year, Garrett designed a proposal to attain funding for the Library to purchase a variety of graphic novels from a local book store that was owned by parents of a Hill alumnus. The books were purchased and added to the Library's collection in the fall of 2018.

"The necessity of this project lies in the need for a larger selection of choices of what to read in the library, while also benefiting local business through orders from local book stores rather than large online book stores."