Design Thinking in Second Grade

In an imaginative project to inspire creative problem-solving, second graders had to help Fred Flintstone, whose shirt was torn. The project at the Kosasa Design Lab was a lesson in design thinking and fabrication, where children had to empathize with Fred’s situation and create a new shirt using newspaper, scissors and tape.

In another project, students learned to design and safely build items out of cardboard. Inspired by an adaptation of the “Three Little Pigs,” students built imaginary houses for alligators, complete with a food source and place to sleep. The houses were made using a variety of cardboard attachment styles and had to be able to withstand the force of a leaf blower for 10 seconds.

“It was wonderful to see the children learning fabrication techniques while using good collaboration skills when working in groups. They also had a whole lot of fun ‘testing’ to see if their houses could withstand the leaf blower,” said Danette Kobayashi, the Design Technology and Engineering faculty member who led the lesson.

The Design Technology program at Punahou encompasses teaching children coding, engineering, fabrication and the design process while providing opportunities for them to apply social, emotional and ethical learning in classroom situations.

Second graders design a new shirt for Fred Flintstone.
Students build cardboard houses with a variety of fastening techniques. Photo by Danette Kobayashi.

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