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About Us

We are the Cheetahs. This is our Mascot we made. Isn’t he cute! The Cheetahs is made up of five fabulous third grade designers. We called our team the Cheetah’s because we are really fast readers and the Cheetah is the fastest land animal. We know that we will live up to our potential as designers because we have secret powers. Our team is very cool and our secret powers include making people feel safe and happy. We like Math, Reading, and playing games. There is so much we can do if we put our minds to it. If we could solve any problem or invent anything that would be great! We’d love to invent a time machine. Some problems we’d like to solve at our school are: helping the lunch ladies keep everything clean, recycle paper, and build an area in the yard where we can play no matter what the weather.

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Jan 16
I'm getting the sense that litter is a problem at your school! So, yes, an object that would help you not litter--like a trashcan--could be an example of industrial design. The school yard might not be INTERIOR design, but it is definitely a space that is designed as part of a school. Do you already have a program or a system at your school where students help keep the school litter free?
Jan 27
1Welcome to DT Philly! We're excited to meet you and look forward to the great work you will do this year!
Jan 27
1Your team chose an interesting example. Chapter books aren't better than picture books in their design, they are just better for different kinds of users. I hope you continue to see different types of design around you!
We miss seeing pictures of this challenge, but I'm guessing they would look similar to the Lion's Club submission. What creative solution did the group use to move the ping pong balls from one side of the room to the other?
Jan 16
I'm glad you enjoyed this activity and impressed that you took it a step further by trying another way to empathize with someone different from yourselves!
Feb 3
1It sounds like your school building has some pretty significant challenges! You did a great job identifying a lot of you need to pick one that you can realistically research and find a creative solution for through the design process, so you might want to consider what you have the skills, the time (this project won't last long), and ability to do. If you want to work on something that you don't have the skills or ability to fix yourself, like the physical problems with the building, you might take an approach that involves learning about how such problems get reported, paid for, and fixed and see where you can influence that process or support it. Are problems being reported? Are there ways that parent or community volunteers could help? Or ways to raise extra money for repairs? I imagine there are a lot of rules to follow when it comes to building problems, so you'll have to find out who know about these things and do a lot of learning!
Feb 10
1For this activity, you wanted to plan all the different ways to research your problem. So, that might include talking to teachers and staff to see if rainy-day recess is handled differently at other schools where they have worked (or where their own kids go to school), it might involve. Or maybe even talking to students to find out what they do at home if it's raining or snowing on the weekend and they can't go outside.
This sounds like a thoughtful way to empathize with someone who can't see. Can you think of any ways you could empathize with some of the people affected by the design problem you are working on?
Jan 16
Great observations! Being attentive to detail is a great skill for designers to have!
Feb 17
1I think we can guess which of your problems you decided to tackle! Before you decide that the solution is a structure of some kind, let's take another look at the problem. What currently happens for recess when it's raining or snowing? Is the problem that recess isn't fun? It's too chaotic? There's nothing to do? These are problems that can be approached in a variety of ways
Feb 24
1We tried to enlarge the photo of your empathy map so we could read it and give you some feedback, but it's too blurry for us to see what information you discovered and what takeaways you have. Let us know if you want some help!
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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.