MindFuel presented a full-day intensive design thinking workshop at the Calgary City Teacher’ Convention last week. The session united design thinking, maker-inspired activities, and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning.

Participants were introduced to a series of challenges that foster students’ risk-taking, creative problem-solving, and empathy – critical skills needed to generate innovative solutions in the classroom and beyond,” said Margaret Glover-Campbell, MindFuel Programs director.

The first half of the day focused on the design thinking process, with a particular focus on its application in the STEM classroom. And the second half of the day saw participants taking the opportunity to experiment with hands-on makerspace activities that can be applied across subjects and grades.

The session included a mini-series of guest speakers who represented subject matter experts in design thinking.

Marylee Ang speaking at MindFuel’s workshop

Marylee Ang, an instructional media consultant on the educational technology team from the Calgary Catholic School District spoke about student-centered learning and how makerspace fundamentals could be incorporated into the school environment.

Youth entrepreneurs Lauren and Ashley, of RobotsRFun, spoke about being part of Calgary’s growing “maker movement. They design easy-to-build robots which are made by kids and for kids, to help ignite interest in science learning among their peers. They shared insights about how they design their projects, continue to push the limits, and challenge themselves at the same time.

The session provided a unique and engaging learning opportunities which were designed to be applied in the classroom by teachers. “Great session! The hands-on activities were fun and engaging. The resources and sequencing of ideas made the content quite accessible…What a worthwhile day! Thank you!” (anonymous survey feedback from an attendee). 

What was the most beneficial element for the teachers? 

One responded, “to include innovative ideas in my science and math lesson plans. From now on, I will make the creative process as a part of my teaching.”

Photo caption L to R: Caitlin Quarrington and Margaret Glover Campbell representing MindFuel’s programs team, Lauren and Ashley of RobotsRFun and Magda Pop, geekStarter program manager.