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The Fourth Grade Designers

About Us

We are The Fourth Grade Designers!
We are so excited to be apart of DT Philly and can't wait to get started making the world a better place.
We hope you all have fun designing, designers!

Recent comments on our work:

6/5/17 · Assignment: Once Upon a Design
Natalie Suszkowski · The Fourth Grade Designers

Our Progress

Due Assignment Max Points Our Points
Jan 16
We're excited that you're already thinking about careers in the design world! While you were learning about these different areas of design, did you identify your own examples of industrial design, experience design, system design, and interior design?
Jan 27
1We're excited for your team to get started! I'm guessing from your name that you are all in the forth grade. We're glad you work together as a team--this is the whole purpose of having a team! If you collaborate with someone who isn't on your team, like one of the design experts in the Designer Directory we have on the website, please check the collaboration box and tell us a bit about how you enriched your project by working with someone outside your team.
Jan 27
1Yes, you are incredible and your teamwork helped you come up with so many great examples! Very nicely done!
My goodness you thought of a lot of creative ways to move those ping pong balls! And you obviously have some good balancing skills...that basket would let you move a lot of balls at once--points for efficiency! Did you also consider building an object of a system to transport the ping pong balls?
Jan 16
Thanks for taking a walk in someone else's shoes. Empathy is an important skill for designers to have!
Feb 3
1These are important problems! They are also very BIG can be helpful to use the "how might we" format to frame your design challenge in a manageable way that is focused on outcomes. Where are you going to work on these problems? Trying to do it for the whole school is probably too much for this project since it will be hard to try out different solution ideas on such a large scale. Is there one bathroom you can focus on? One place or time where you want to address bullying? What outcome do you want to achieve for each of these projects? For example, is it to keep the bathroom cleaner? To repair things that are broken? Make sure they are well stocked? Spruce up the appearance in another way? You could also pick one outcome you want to achieve for your bullying project to make that more to help victims feel supported, or to help bullies to they are less likely to engage in that behavior.
Feb 10
1It was a good idea to talk to people who aren't your friends (as well as those who are)...since you're designing for ALL of the students, it's good to understand a lot of different perspectives.
What a great way to practice empathy for people who are hearing impaired! You probably want to help people empathize with the problem you are working on for your design project...can you think of an activity you could do to help people understand your challenge?
Jan 16
It's easy to be distracted when you are watching something happen. When you're doing observation research for your design project, look closely at what's really happening!
Feb 17
1It sounds like you learned a lot. The fact that the unkind behavior happens more when teachers aren't around is a good insight. Is one of your design goals to have your solution change people's behavior when the teachers aren't around? That would be very exciting!
Feb 24
1We can't quite read your empathy map (the photos are a bit blurry), but we hope you got some good takeaways to fuel your brainstorming!
Jan 16
It looks like you had a lot of fun with this! We hope it helped warm up your creativity muscles for your brainstorming.
Mar 3
1These look like good posters to collect your ideas. What are some of the ideas you have about ways to address bullying or improve the school bathrooms?
What a wonderful drawing! Nice work. Did you do the second half of the activity, where you apply that "building on" technique to an idea from the brainstorming you did for your project?
Jan 16
This looks very colorful and fun! We hope you had fun warming up for your prototype phase of your design work!
Mar 10
1It sounds like a good idea to have different formats for the older students and younger students. Have you started thinking about ways the process of compliment sharing will work for the students? For example, when will they give a compliment? How will another student get their compliment? Where will the forms be? Who will oversee this project? What is the goal? Can you think of any potential problems you might have?
Mar 17
1This looks like the same item you submitted for design ideas, so this must be what you decided to go with. Did you consider any other design ideas before settling on this one? Sometimes it's helpful to try more than one prototype so you can compare different approaches to see what works better with the people you are designing for. Don't forget to spell check your forms before you start to use them!
Jan 16
That would be a lot of compliments! :)
Mar 24
1Your team did very thorough testing! Great job! Professional designers will test their idea and then make changes to their design to make it better. They do this over and over until their design is almost perfect! Will your team be able to make a few changes to your design and test it again?
These are excellent ideas to make your design even better! I'm very impressed with how inclusive you are by making sure all students can participate, no matter what language they prefer.
Jan 16
Professional designers share their work with one another to get feedback and improve their outcomes. Thank you for taking the time to recognize the work of one of your fellow design teams! And we at DT Philly really appreciate your thank-you pictures (nice emojis!). We're delighted that you enjoyed designing with Ms. Murphy and Ms. Suszkowski, and we hope to see you next year.
Mar 31
1Congratulations on all of your hard work to complete your design project. We love your idea and hope you were able to use what you learned during testing to make your solution even better. Keep designing!
Mar 31
1Thanks for sharing your feedback and for designing with us this year. We, too, wish DT Philly didn't have to end, but we hope to see you again next year. Have a great summer!


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.