Challenge Program 5th Graders Explore Design Thinking

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By Field-Stevenson Elementary

Forest Park School District 91

On Wednesday, March 6th, fifth grade Challenge Program students from Field-Stevenson and Grant-White were invited to present at a Design Symposium at the Chicago History Museum to highlight their work using the design thinking process. 
Field-Stevenson students worked to develop a customized prosthetic that would meet the needs of an individual.   Students researched about 3D printed limbs and brainstormed potential additions and enhancements to our own hands.  They interviewed their client, Mr. Quirk, an assistant teacher at Betsy Ross to find out more about him in order to personalize their design. Although he has lived without a hand for his entire life, Mr. Quirk mentioned that driving a nail in a wall was difficult to do with one hand.  Students set out selecting a hand, redesigning it, programming additional features using a Microbit and assembling the hand.  They found that things do not always work the first time and that adjustments are almost always necessary.  The prototype was a functional 3D printed hand with a Blackhawks logo on the back, a Microbit accessory that gave uplifting scrolling messages with a Blackhawks countdown, one of the fingers had a measuring tool and another had 2 different size nail holders.  Students presented their  prototype, Manibus Maximus, to professional designers and peers at the symposium and received an award for Outstanding Prototype. 


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