“The energy that it creates in the school is just terrific,” said Waipahu High School Principal Keith Hayashi, who joined more than 330 educators, students, business and community leaders for this year's Design Thinking Bootcamp.
“In design thinking you learn a new way of solving problems. One of the big differences is that sometimes we're problem solvers not problem finders,” said Maureen Carrol, founder of Lime Designs, which teaches Design Thinking.
“The design challenge was how do we get our students to eat more school lunch,” said Hayashi.
Last year, Hayashi's students learned through surveys, interviews, and teamwork that long lines and unappealing lunches were turning students away.
They changed that and moved on to their next project.
“How can we make math better at Waipahu?” he asked them next.
“We're trying to understand other people and help fix their problems,” said Amanda Nelson, a Kealakekua High School graduate, who was leading her own team this year and assigned to the He'eia Fish Pond in Kaneohe.
The fish pond is one of seven different locations where groups are interviewing people, learning about what they do and then trying to figure out how they can help.
Then, they'll create a program and implement their idea.
More than 20 schools and complexes are now part of the program, and all are working to teach generations, now and later, how to learn with purpose.
“When students feel that they're engaged, it's a great feeling, because they're helping others,” said Hayashi.