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Design Thinking Superheroes

This quarter, Emmarose’s group focused on the driving question "how do people come together to do great things?" by diving in to design thinking.

They began their study by exploring their own strengths and challenges. They channeled these observations into the creation of superheroes who had the power to contribute in unique ways. Their goal was to solve real problems at Sycamore School. Students scoured the campus looking for issues to tackle. They also interviewed the adults on campus to see what other problems might exist. Students identified 38 potential areas to address. When narrowing their list, they tried to keep problems on the list that were affecting the whole community and were in their power to change. Next, they divided problems into various categories: ones that stemmed from personal responsibility, ones that stemmed from people needing reminders, ones that require the administration to solve, and ones they felt like they could work on.

In the end, they identified three important problems to solve and collaborated in small groups to make a difference!

Student followed the Design Thinking process:

Make observations

Generate questions


Define requirements and constraints

Brainstorm ideas

Build prototype

Test it out

Reflect on process

One group solved the WASTING PAPER problem by making their own paper from recycled scraps, designing a bin to save scrap paper, and creating signs to promote recycling in the right places.

Another group collaborated to solve the problem of HOW TO GET LOQUATS. They designed a loquat picker by researching other fruit pickers and using materials like a bucket and chop sticks to help collect loquats!

A third group worked together to solve the problem of HOW TO GET RID OF THE FLIES. They studied what deters flies and created a spray made of lemon oil, lavender oil, cloves, and water. It really works! To keep the flies interested in staying outside, they also made a modeling clay bowl to fill with honey.

Students in Emmarose’s group learned about how to effectively share their strengths to solve important problems at school! We are all especially grateful to them for making a difference together!

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