Nearly a decade ago, we challenged ourselves to find a way to embed design thinking into the curricular experience in every single grade. Across the school we provide experiences for students to engage with creative problem solving from building a faster bobsled in 7th grade science to designing an app-based voter registration drive in advanced computer science classes.
One of our interdisciplinary projects has become cemented as a mainstay in the grade 2 experience. Based on the Novel Engineering body of work, students studied the story of Rapunzel and isolated the main problem, in this case her being trapped in the tower. Working in the Build Space with Patrick Murray, Interdisciplinary Integrator, second graders designed methods to get Rapunzel out of the tower. They brainstormed, developed prototypes, and built models to represent their thinking, all of which are skills that will play out time and again throughout their Riverdale experience.