Fortune challenge: How do you connect classroom learning to the real world?

…ask hard questions and collaborate. This summer we wanted a fun, delicious and surprising new way to introduce design thinking to teachers in one of our workshops. So, we ordered custom fortune cookies, of course. The cookies each contain a fortune with one of three BIG design challenge questions:

  • How do you make learning relevant for students?
  • How do you get different people at school working together?
  • How do you connect classroom learning to the real world?
A delicious challenge!

This week, Josh Ruddick, used the Fortune Cookie Design Challenge with students in his class. Josh wanted to introduce design thinking to the students who run the EdCorp (classroom-based business) Santa Rita Sprouts.

Students formed teams, cracked open fortune cookies and began to design desirable, viable and feasible solutions to the challenge question inside their fortune cookies. To keep things lively, only 1/2 of the teams receive a design process guide with recommended design activities, like empathy mapping. The other 1/2 of the teams created their own design process as they went along. The results? The challenge definitely posed some challenges for the students. Josh shared:

“It went pretty well for some students and blew other students brains all over the wall! Some resisted taking on the empathy map for any other potential stakeholder than themselves. We need to work on their creative confidence.”

Everyday design tools: Empathy Maps + 5 Whys

Problem solving and human-centered design can be messy. And, let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to flex your empathy muscle. But just like your biceps, the more you flex, the stronger you get! So take on a design challenge that stretches your empathy muscle.

If you’re in Tucson, come visit us and have a cookie. If you’re not, you can check out the recipe for this Fortune Cookie DO here and adapt it. Let us know how it goes – we’re always testing and refining!

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