Design Challenge Teacher Sheet

Design Challenge Teacher Sheet Photo Credit: VFS Digital Design (CC BY 2.0) via flickr.


This lesson consists of five units on producing a physical prototype to evaluate in a design challenge. The design is informed by design philosophy in devising new approaches to the water-access crisis.

Your Role

Written as initiative, project-based, inquiry-learning, this lesson deliberately has a reduced instructional role for you as a means of calling forth peer-assisted learning, leadership, and team building among students.

You function mainly as a facilitator or operations manager. Your role is to keep students safe and spark productive inquiry, problem-solving, and collaboration among students to find answers and organize themselves to take the next steps toward designing an improved approach for providing people in countries that lack water infrastructure easier access to fresh water.

Resources for Background on Design philosophy

Agile Innovation

Watch the four-minute video A Quick Introduction to Agile Management. You should scroll down through the article until you see the video box. For additional information on the topic, read the rest of the article, "The Secret History of Agile Innovation."

Design Cycle

Helpful directions might include issuing frequent affirming prompts such as:

  • “Say more about that…”
  • “Take that a bit further….”
  • “Listen to xxxx. Reflect on what you two just said….”
  • “You have everything you need to build this out…keep going….”
  • “Try, dare, do….”
  • “Everything is data. If you hit a deadend, there is data there you can use…keep going.”
  • “Keep a notebook.”
  • “Trust your colleagues.”
  • “Ask for help.”
  • “Focus on the question and the answer will come. Do it the opposite way—cling to so-called right answers—and you’ll never reach an impactful question that matters.”
  • “Take a break. Walk around. Do something else. Get some exercise. Eat actual nutrients. Give the problem some residence time in your imagination without your conscious mind directing it.”
  • “Sleep on it.”
  • “Take another go.”

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