ES Students Use Design Thinking to Reimagine Garden Space
Take a peek on the east side of the Elementary school building to see what it looks like to grow happiness. Students are leading the way for reimagining a garden space that will also be used as a dynamic learning platform.
In spite of its urban setting, “we have a vision for providing children in Shanghai with outdoor experiences with nature on our own campus,” shared Elementary school principal Dr. Eric Semler. “This garden will enable students to get their hands dirty and participate in the development of a unique ecosystem.”
Last spring G4 students applied design thinking skills to conduct empathy interviews of younger students and observe how garden spaces elsewhere on campus were being utilized. ES STEM coach Kristy Godbout shared, “What ensued was a beautiful collaboration of ideas and thoughts…. The students worked together to ideate, research, and create scale drawings of what the space could be.” The G4 students created presentations to school leadership and consultants from Stanford’s d.school, and took feedback into account as they iterated ideas for the space.Younger students were presented with the top 10 revisions and voted for their favorite designs and ideas.
The outdoor learning space will continue to develop in the coming months. It is a collaborative effort. The high school shared a tumbling composter. Cross-divisional projects are under consideration, which would include the planting of tree saplings. Watch for the upcoming installation of a greenhouse later this year, along with hydroponic farming. Step by step the garden experience will go from reimagining to reality!
The growth of this new on-campus ecosystem provides students with an active learning platform, where they can be involved in nearly every step of its development. This is the type of educational enrichment that the Concordia Fund supports—your gift is transforming lives to lead change in a dynamic and complex world.