"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, and it can be incorporated into class or run as an extracurricular, with students working in small teams facilitated by a teacher.
Teachers and students begin their DT Philly journey by learning about their relationship to the spaces, systems, and products that surround them, and they move on to crafting an essential question about a problem that interests them, researching that problem, and then brainstorming, prototyping, and testing potential solutions.
As students use a design framework to undertake projects relevant to their interests and experiences, they engage in new ways with teachers, peers, and the work itself. 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 for high school and for 6th-8th grade run from September to February, giving students time to implement their projects, if they choose, in the final months of the school year. K-5 programs run from October to February. 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, educational resources, supplies, personalized feedback on student work, on-site assistance as needed, 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.