Updated: May 3, 2020
We at Einstein Academy believe in the power and the potential of the individual and the community. We believe that students, no matter the age, are capable and competent and have the ability to make a positive impact on the world around them. We believe that great things happen when we we are committed to #doingthepossible; kids just need to be given the opportunity.
Mission: Possible, a program launched by Einstein Academy this week, helps give students that opportunity by empowering them to be problem seekers and problems solvers through the design thinking process.
Through different explorations and missions, we work with kids to to identify and address different problems while fostering dispositions like empathy and persistence and also teaching the value of feedback and cultivating independent learning skills. The way the program is outlined creates a safe space for experimenting and pushing thought to the next level.
According to the Interaction Design Foundation, design thinking can be described as, “an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding.”
Mission: Possible breaks this process down to a level that is appropriate for kids aged 4-9, giving them the opportunity to delve deeply into different steps in a hands-on, experiential way.
Stanford education professor Shelley Goldman emphasizes the value of design thinking for kids, saying “One of the great things about design thinking is that everyone can do it. Think of creativity as a muscle instead of a trait. You can train it, get it into shape. Design thinking gives kids the confidence to figure out new ways to solve problems.”
The design thinking process includes identifying meaningful problems, truly understanding a problem from all facets, prototyping and making changes, gathering feedback and making more changes. It instills valuable skills like creativity and out of the box thinking. It encourages collaboration and connections. It integrates skills and content across discipline levels in an authentic way. It requires a high level of communication and emotional intelligence. And it solves problems...oh yes, and it’s fun. Just as education should be.
In today’s world and what we can predict tomorrow’s world to be, we certainly need problem solvers. We need the kids of today to be those creative, confident problem solvers of tomorrow. We need them to love learning and to put that learning to work, solving the important problems of their day in order to make the world just a little bit better.
So, today, we foster that as they are #doingthepossible. This is the goal of Mission: Possible.
For more information about Mission: Possible, click here.