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Design Thinking and DaVinci Institute

Blog submitted by Diana Zausch, iLab Coordinator

Evansville Day School 8th grade students have a unique opportunity: as part of their curriculum, each 8th grader takes our Design Thinking class. Design Thinking highlights innovation, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and resilience through challenges presented during class.

We have been fortunate to be invited by the Da Vinci Institute of Evansville to take part in their STEAM event each year. This is an event involving the collaboration of the University of Evansville, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Evansville Day School, the Public Education Foundation, New Tech Institute, Harrison and North High Schools, and several area primary schools. It is supported by the Da Vinci Institute, the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, among others. Our students attend a workshop, presented at the University of Evansville, by professors (from USI and UE), musicians, and scientists in preparation for their exhibit development. During third quarter, they use that knowledge about the connections between music and science to create exhibits to be presented to area 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. EDS has an ideal situation, because we can test ideas with our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, with authentic feedback, as we prototype and improve each iteration before we present in March.

In March, our students will present their exhibits to a few hundred primary school students, after they have attended the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert, to demonstrate to them how science connects to sound. It is a wonderful two-day event that exposes our students to the joys of discovery with younger students, while experiencing the challenges of production.

We are looking forward to this year’s EPO concert, “From the Earth to the Moon and Beyond” on March 14, and our presentations on March 14 and 15!

Photo credit: Diane Brewer, DaVinci Institute