You are here

Diary of Design Thinkers

About Us

Diary of Design Thinkers is made up of 9 creative 4th grade designers. We're called the Diary of Design Thinkers because we all like reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Our team is very creative, and our secret powers include Super Reading, and Super Mathing! We like a lot of PIZZA!! And if we could solve any problem or invent anything it would be to stop the Pizza Haters of the World!

Recent comments on our work:

3/28/17 · Assignment: Genius at Work
Jamir Robinson · Diary of Design Thinkers
1/20/16 · Assignment: In Their Shoes
Paolo Leduna · Carnell's Little Einsteins
Super fun to do! I really am enjoying my Design Thinking group, and I can't wait to get our third puzzle piece! We want to see the big picture!!!
1/20/16 · Assignment: In Their Shoes
Paolo Leduna · Carnell's Little Einsteins

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Jan 16
What great examples! And we love that you appreciate these things you identified.
Jan 27
1Thanks for joining DT Philly this year. We're excited to meet you and look forward to the great work you will do!
Jan 27
1Nice! What do you think about contact lenses (or Lasik, if you've heard of that) as a design alternative to glasses?
Great job on this activity! It was very clever to use another object to carry the ping pong ball. Did your group consider making some kind of device or holder to carry the ball?
Jan 16
We thought the same much difference could a little tape make? We were surprised to see how it made our fingers stiff enough to complicate otherwise easy activities. We hope you had fun and learned a bit about how stepping into someone else's shoes can help you empathize with them!
Feb 3
1Update: What a fun way to share your design challenge! You have great story-telling skills. Were you inspired by watching Bao Bao on the panda cam before she goes back to China, or is Mei Xiang part of your design team? Original comment: Great job! You seem to have a lot of fun with your design activities, and you make it fun for us, too! You've also identified some important design challenges...did you decide which one you'd like to pursue?
Feb 10
1You have two interesting and very different topics to explore...we like that you're going to try to quantify these problems with your observations over a period of time. I wonder if these things happen randomly, or if there are certain days each of these behaviors happen more...and what conditions on those days might contribute to the behaviors?
What an intriguing idea! People with autism often experience and respond to sights and sounds in a different way than you might, so it's important to understand their needs, especially in places like schools. Thanks for sharing the link!
Jan 16
Feb 17
1We love how thorough your approach is! Did you conduct your observations over several days? And did you notice any differences between the lunch periods that might offer insights into your challenge?
Feb 24
1We can't quite make out your observations or takeaways, but it looks like you had a lot to put on your empathy map!
Jan 16
We like your creative approach to this activity, and we hope you had fun with it!
Mar 3
1It sounds like you did a lot of brainstorming! What were some of the ideas you had?
Jan 16
Mar 10
1We're glad you're making progress! Can you share with us some of the sketches or outlines of your design ideas that you did for this activity?
Mar 17
1We applaud your creativity! We're guessing that you'll only be able to test one of these prototypes, but if you'd like to test a way to discourage fighting through "scaring kids straight" is there a way you might do this? Do you have any theories or observations about what could be most effective to reduce fighting?
Jan 16
Mar 24
1We like the way you approached the testing of this prototype and got feedback from different people who would use the system. How did the students who fought and had to do community service respond? Will you publicize this initiative as a way to let students know there will be consequences for fighting?
Jan 16
Mar 31
1Congratulations on finishing your DT Philly project! Your team did a great job summing up all of the work you did into one concise video story. I'm impressed that you thought of many realistic ideas and then the crazy idea of an alligator pit!
Mar 31
1Thank you for such great feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed participating in DT Philly this year.


The Design Thinker

An intrepid explorer with a treasure chest of strategies and tools, able to tackle problems large and small.


Kamkwamba Badge

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi in a village that was suffering from drought.  At the age of 14, he read a book called Using Energy and was inspired to do something to help solve a problem in his village.  Using pieces of scrap metal he found in the junkyard, he built a windmill which generated electricity.  That, in turn, made it possible to operate a water pump.  His creativity and hard work made him an inspiration all around the world, and he went on to write a children's book about his experience called The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Empathizer

A perceptive observer and listener,  able to understand what other people think and feel.


Born Badge

Eight-year old Lily Born noticed that her grandfather, who had a disease that made his hands shaky, often knocked over his cup and spilled what he was drinking.  Lily wanted to help her grandfather, so she came up with idea she called the Kangaroo Cup, a three-legged cup that didn't tip over and was comfortable to hold and use.  Lily experimented with the cup for many years, and now you can buy her invention online.

The Definer

A curious collaborator, able to ask great questions and driven to dig deep to find the root of a problem.


Silver Badge

Professor Josh Silver wanted to help people in poor countries who need glasses but can't get them.  In order to help, he had to do a lot of research and understand all the reasons it was hard for people to get glasses.  One thing he learned was that there aren't enough eye doctors in some parts of the world to figure out prescriptions for everyone who needs glasses, so he decided to design a pair of self-adjusting eyeglasses.  Once a person with bad vision gets these glasses, they put them on, play with the dials until they can clearly, and then they're good to go—no trip to the doctor required!

The Ideator

A bold and hardworking thinker, able to imagine lots of new ways to solve tricky problems.


Uncharted Play Badge

While visiting her cousin in Nigeria, 17-year-old Jessica Matthews noticed that the electricity would go out several times a day.  Later, as a student at Harvard University, Jessica and three classmates came up with an idea to design an energy-generating soccer ball for a school project.  The Soccket, as they named it, harnesses the kinetic energy generated by kicking the ball around and stores the energy in a battery that can power an LED light.  Matthews went on to start a company called Uncharted Play, which also makes an energy-capturing jump rope called Pulse.  

The Prototyper

An inventive builder, able to transform ideas into real objects or experiences with his own two hands.



Adidas has developed technology that allows them to turn the plastic trash that litters the ocean into thread, which they used to create a new running shoe called Parley.  The shoe is designed with an ocean green wave pattern.  The design team made many prototypes of this shoe in order to get the plastic material flexible and durable enough for everyday use.  One big challenge was getting rid of the dead fish smell that came with some of the recycled plastic that was once used for fishing nets.

The Tester

An open-minded experimenter, able to use what she sees and hears to make solutions even better.


Hövding Badge

Two designers in Sweden have invented an "invisible" bike helmet.  It looks a lot like a scarf that a cyclist wears around his or her neck.  If a rider gets into an accident, the helmet inflates to protect the person's head and neck.  The designers spent a lot of time testing their ideas by simulating icy roads and other common bike-crash situations to make sure their invisible helmet only inflates during a real crash and not during a bumpy ride.

The Presenter

A confident storyteller, able to clearly describe and explain what she wants people to understand.