Course Description

Visual art interdisciplinary teaching enables students to become creative, confident problem-solvers and makers. In this workshop participants will learn how to facilitate the design thinking process by using their own curriculum to frame their lessons, make connections to other content areas, and acquire techniques for guiding students toward developing the necessary mindset and skills to thrive in today’s world. Topics include Discovery and Ideation, Refining Ideas and Working with Constraints, Experimentation and Prototypes, and Presentations as a grand finale. Activities will be grade level adaptable and budget sensitive.

Learner Outcomes

  • Participants will create connections between visual art and their grade level curriculum, by using design thinking to drive the development of students’ critical and imaginative thinking.
  • Participants will understand how to prepare students for future careers that may not yet exist today, by acquiring ideas for teaching empathy and adaptability.
  • Participants will learn how to adapt their curriculum to provide innovative activities that include the design process:
  1. Determine a problem to be solved
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Prototype
  4. Share and Gather Feedback.
  • Participants will understand how to design activities that will impact their students in the long run, by learning to adapt ideas and see things from another person’s perspective.
  • Participants will be able to identify possible problems and reframe them as actionable opportunities for their students.
  • Participants will learn how to present Design Thinking to their students by sharing that many engineers use the steps of the design process to help find good design solutions to problems.
  1. First engineers consider the need. What does the thing you are making need to do?
  2. What is the problem you're trying to solve? Write a problem statement, which is a short, carefully thought-out sentence about what problem or challenge you are trying to solve (i.e. How might we…)
  3. The most important step: Brainstorm different ideas that might be possible solutions to the problem statement and look at the problem in different ways. The more ideas you consider, the more likely you will find a great solution.
  4. Select the best design by narrowing ideas from many to a few best ideas by making a list of requirements and/or constraints.
  5. Communicate the design so that others understand why your design works and how it is a solution to the problem statement.
  6. Create (build and test) a model or prototype of the design to make sure it works by analyzing whether or not it addresses the problem adequately.


This course can be taken for either credit or clock hours. Clock hours are available under CEU 3984.
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