The excitement was palpable at the Wells Fargo Center on February 6 when 35 teams from DT Philly’s high school, middle school, and elementary school divisions gathered to share their projects and celebrate their accomplishments at the Design Thinking Philadelphia Showcase.
Teams have been working since the fall to identify and explore a problem in their school or community and to imagine and experiment with ways to make things better. The challenges students chose to address varied widely and included topics such as finding ways to improve (or provide alternatives to) school lunch, reducing the impact of bullying, making it easier and more enjoyable for students to be in compliance with school uniform policies, finding ways to keep school spaces cleaner, improving the efficiency of the school store, helping students meet personal hygiene needs, increasing student alertness during the school day, and creating a system to keep a classroom library organized.
The hard work of evaluating the projects and offering feedback fell to five capable review panels comprised of professionals and graduate students in the fields of architecture, industrial design, landscape design, web design, interior design, graphic design, and UX design.
A poster session, buffet lunch, and awards ceremony followed the presentations. Each elementary school team received a trophy recognizing the strongest aspect of the team’s project while the judges’ scores for the 6th-12th grade projects determined first, second, and third place finishers and grant winners for those divisions (results appear below). The students themselves also cast ballots to determine a “Designer’s Choice” award winner in each division.
High School Division
- Designer's Choice Award - The Aquaponics Squad of Abraham Lincoln High School for their project to promote healthier eating through aquaponic gardening
- 1st Place - The Dreamchasers of Building 21 for their project to improve the school lunch experience
- 2nd Place - The Aquaponics Squad of Lincoln High School for their project to promote healthier eating through aquaponic gardening
- 3rd Place - The Blossoms of Lincoln High School for their project to help youth in an emergency shelter feel more supported
Middle School Division
- Designer's Choice Award - The Little Einsteins of Shawmont School for their project to help peers who don't understand the curriculum
- 1st Place - The Futures of William C. Longstreth School for their project to address student hunger
- 2nd Place - The Red Knights of Southern Middle School for their project to address keep students from sliding on and damaging the stairwell railings
- 3rd Place - The Little Einsteins of Shawmont School for their project to help peers who don't understand the curriculum
K-2nd Grade & 3rd-5th Grade Divisions
- Designer's Choice Award - The Star Riders of SLA Beeber for their project to give students a voice with regard to the snacks they can buy through the school store
- All teams in the K-2 and 3rd-5th Grade Divisions received an award honoring the strongest aspect of their project
Judges, staff, and volunteers alike were impressed by the passion and empathy shown by the teams throughout their projects, and we congratulate all of our DT Philly students and teachers for their hard work this year. We also thank Comcast Spectacor, Aramark, the Wells Fargo Center, our judges, and our event volunteers for making this year’s Showcase a special experience for our students.