The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

Design Time

This year, Primary School students will have Design Time as a regular part of their weekly class rotation to practice channeling their creativity into brainstorming ideas, collaborating productively with peers, and refining their ideas based on constructive feedback. To kick off the year, Creativity and Design Teacher Deborah Morrone-Bianco has been visiting Primary School classes to introduce them to design thinking and the Fay School Design Process.

Just like math and literacy skills, learning to express creativity takes practice, as Deborah points out to her students. Channeling creativity requires learning to take risks, face fears, and engage in productive struggle, then using lessons learned and constructive feedback to create something better the next time. Design Time will give Primary students regular opportunities to practice those skills. Deborah introduced students to different design plans, like the top-down perspective of a floor plan and the direct perspective of an elevation view, and talked about the various tools designers use, from pencil and paper to iPads and computer programs that create 3D digital designs.

Deborah also introduced students to the steps of the Fay Design Process and talked about how each step supports problem-solving and creativity. “First, we have to figure out the problem we are trying to solve, and then we have to learn about the problem, gather information, do research, and ask questions,” she told her second grade students. Once they have studied the problem, students will brainstorm, sketch, and ideate various solutions before winnowing their ideas down to the best one. Deborah talked about the importance of building a prototype, a mini-version of the design, that can be tested and then refining that model to solve any problems. The process is an iterative circle that students are encouraged to work through continuously as they evaluate and improve their ideas. 

For their first project, second graders will review what they learned about bridges last year and then engage in a bridge-building design challenge. This will give students practice implementing the design thinking process and tie into their study of simple machines in second grade as they experiment with different materials, structures, and mechanisms in their designs.
main number 508-490-8250
admission 508-490-8201