Props to Project H design/build Students!

I’ve been following the @projectHdesign feed on twitter and wanted to pass along the awesome work they are doing.  I truly believe this is one form (of many) that design thinking can take in K12 education.  In case you haven’t noticed I’m a fan of the TED and TEDx conferences (or lectures, or events, or engagements…WTH would you call it?!!).  Anyway, Emily Pilloton gave a fantastically engaging talk a year ago about her project – Project H. This thing is the manifestation of exactly what I want this blog to explore.  Project H is part shop class, part STEM, part social innovation, and lots of empathy and creativity.  In a nutshell – it’s design thinking.  In a piece written by the NY Times, Emily said they teach “design thinking, leadership skills, shop skills and citizenship” and students in the class said “Oh my God, this class is crazy awesome.”   Hallelujah!!

Please check out their website as they describe their inspirations and intended outcomes better than I.  BUT, basically, Emily teaches HS students from and an extremely rural area of N.C. all about design, modern construction techniques, some engineering and some architecture ALL within the concept of improving the local community.  Yes, these students get their hands dirty.  They build stuff.   Real stuff, like public chicken coups (told you it was rural!!!).  Their latest effort – their Pièce de résistance – is a farmer’s market building that will bring the community together in a meaningful way.  All this by high school students – barely with a driver’s license.  So inspiring!  Their project is apparently being filmed for a future documentary.

Truthfully, my short narrative cannot adequately describe the context and extent of their work.  So if you have a minute to be inspired please follow this short recipe:

1) Watch Emily’s TED talk or read this piece in the NY Times for an overview of the concept

2) Visit to get a sense of the scope of their work

3) Visit the Studio H student blog for pics of the new ‘market’ project

4) Applaud and spread the word!



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