Fulton Elementary School Students Use “Design Thinking” for Community Improvements
Fourth-grade students at Fulton Elementary School recently completed research and created proposals to suggest improvements in their community.
The project began with students asking their families and friends about the types of things they would like to see changed or improved in the Ephrata area. Students chose their top three areas of interest to research and worked in teams with students who had a similar interest. A variety of topics were selected, including laternflies, pet shelters, school gardens, and playground upgrades.
Students followed a thorough “Design Thinking” protocol to support their area of interest:
- Define and Research Problem
- Generate Ideas and Rationale
- Select Potential Solutions and Take Action
- Create Prototypes
- Test the Prototypes
- Evaluate and Redesign
- Present Projects (An Expo)
Additionally, students worked with an expert specific to their area of interest via conference calls, school meetings, Facetime, and Skype.
The culmination of students’ work was presented during a community expo on Friday, February 8. Family members and local officials were invited to see the displays of each team and talk with students about what they learned. There were nearly a hundred attendees, including Pennsylvania Senator Ryan Aument, Ephrata Mayor Ralph Mowen, and Ephrata Borough Manager Bob Thompson.