Design Thinking + Making and #SXSW EDU

  • March 29, 2018
  • Scott

I won’t often write about the Magellan International School on this blog – in general I think Medium is the more appropriate venue for that personal pursuit – but there are times when personal volunteer work relates really strongly with what we do at work every day.

Right now our Product Design and UX team is doing discovery work with a client leveraging design thinking methods.  These are skills and capabilities that drive value for BP3 and for our clients.

And at the Magellan International School, our i.Lab for Design+Making is teaching children (as young as kindergarten) about design-thinking, innovation, and making in an environment where it is safe to experiment and fail and try again.  Every time I talk to parents at Magellan, someone will tell me that their child’s favorite part of the day is the i.Lab – and my kids tell me the same.

During the recent SXSW EDU conference, Magellan hosted a break out for Making (referencing a blog post by Patrick Benfield, our Innovation Director) to share what we’re doing with educators near and far:

During this conference, I had the opportunity to represent MIS as the co-presenter of a hands-on workshop that explored the intersection of making, art, and science via digitally fabricated, low cost microscopes. Sharing this type of activity provided attendees a window into the philosophy, pedagogy, and approach to learning that informs instruction at our school.  [..]

This year, Maker Education Initiative, a national nonprofit organization with a mission to create sustainable maker programs in schools across the country, hosted a SXSW Edu “Maker Meetup” at Magellan, which is quickly becoming known as a hub of making and innovation. The event, co-hosted by Digital Promise, with support from KQED and Sparkfun Education, helped to connect conference attendees, as well as our school, with local, national, and global maker communities.

While the i.Lab’s primary purpose is to promote innovation education at Magellan, it is never too late to get started.  A secondary purpose for the Magellan i.Lab is to support community initiatives like SXSW EDU for just that reason – we’re all lifelong learners on this journey.  What I love most about the i.Lab is how well it reflects our community of entrepreneur and innovator parents as well as children!

Magellan is leading with innovative approaches in education – but also in innovation thinking. Pretty much what you would expect from an innovative town like Austin!




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