The weather may be getting cold but our DT Philly teams are heating up, and it’s time to recognize some of the great work they’re doing. Our first featured team this school year is Team ABC from Shawmont School. The middle school students on Team ABC have chosen to focus on the problem of bullying—a sensitive and critical issue affecting students of all ages.
The team’s goal is to ensure that all students are entering a safe space when they come to school. To that end, they wrote the following design challenge question: “How might we create a school environment that is inclusive and welcoming so everyone feels safe at school?” They began by considering how bullying affects students’ school experiences and by empathizing with their users. To ensure that their users feel safe and comfortable when they are talking about their experiences, Team ABC takes students to a quiet place and keeps information confidential. The compassion the team has shown in conducting their research is key to capturing honest and useful information.
From their research, the design team was surprised to learn how many of their fellow students reported being bullied, and how deeply bullying affects some of their friends. The realization that their friends are affected further motivates them to address the problem.
The team members say that they are not just trying to stop bullying but they really want victims to feel like they belong at school and are supported. They believe all students at Shawmont should have a positive experience, and that bullying makes the school environment undesirable for a number of students.
At this point in their project, the team is looking to identify actionable insights from their research and plans to connect with one of our volunteer designers for advice on next steps. We look forward to seeing the ideas Team ABC generates and explores to address this important issue.