"We're design thinkers. We make things better."
- DT Philly students at Laura H. Carnell School
Compete 360 develops and provides teachers with the curricula, resources, training, and support to help students use a design-based approach to problem solving to explore a challenge that interests them. Teachers in all grade levels and disciplines, and students of all abilities participate in DT Philly, which can be incorporated into class or run as an extracurricular activity.
Teams begin their DT Philly journey learning about their relationship to the spaces, systems, and products that surround them. Next they craft an essential question about a problem they see or experience, and then they research the problem, and brainstorm, prototype, and test potential solutions.
As students use the design framework to explore their challenges, they engage in new ways with teachers, peers, and their own learning. Along the way there are moments of excitement and discovery as well as opportunities for growth, as students grapple with time management and team dynamics, as they seek to understand root causes and find new ways of looking at a problem, and as they confront constraints on what is desirable and what is feasible.
DT Philly programs run from September to February, giving students time to implement their projects in the final months of the school year. Our rigorous curriculum, which includes weekly assignments and opportunities for extended learning, is updated annually to incoporate lessons learned and to keep the experience fresh for returning teachers and students.
Participants receive training, a curriculum guide, supplies, weekly feedback on student work, the opportunity to participate in special events, and more. The program culminates in a Design Showcase where students present their work to their peers and to design and business professionals, and teams in the high school and 6th-8th grade divisions have the opportunity to win grants to help them advance their projects.