Tools for Schools (and Churches)

I loved this Fast Company article about Tools for Schools, a program that integrates design-based problem solving into the daily curriculum.

Students were challenged to design the classroom of the future. In their classes, they researched and tinkered with desk, chair, and locker designs. They prototyped with pipe cleaners and cardstock, explored material costs, and put together concept pitches.

I especially love two aspects about this program.

  1. Students were given a meaningful project that’s tangible and more relevant to their everyday lives than a standardized test.
  2. The teachers and partnering businesses took seriously the students’ work and discovered innovative ideas they may not have come up with on their own. Like this desk with a backpack hook and interchangeable inserts for different classes:

From the article:

“Clearly, the project showed that kids as young as 13 can grasp the rigorous process that designers undertake. It also reflected the fact that students are enthusiastic learners — of math, science, and writing — when those subjects are integrated into a project they care about.”

What would it look like to invite our faith communities to design the worship space of the future? What would it look like to rethink how we compartmentalize our ministries? What would it look like to empower and learn from the young people in our congregations?

Don’t miss the article and the photo gallery.
(image: Fast Company)

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