Design thinking has the capacity to benefit K-12 educators across any subject year after year through its emphasis on building collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Using Cooper Hewitt’s world-renowned design collection, lessons developed by K-12 educators trained in design thinking, and many more museum resources, K-12 educators will find a wealth of strategies to help implement design thinking in their classrooms.
DESIGN THINKING resources on smithsonian learning lab
To learn more about how to use design thinking in the K-12 classroom, take a look at Cooper Hewitt’s collections on the Smithsonian Learning Lab, a digital platform designed to inspire the discovery and creative use of rich digital materials—more than two million images, recordings, and texts from the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 9 major research centers, the National Zoo, and more.
DESIGN-BASED LESSON PLANS
Cooper Hewitt offers over 400 design-based lesson plans written by educators from all disciplines that are aligned to National and Common Core Standards. Explore lesson plans.
COOPER HEWITT’S COLLECTION
Cooper Hewitt is home to a diverse collection, spanning thirty centuries of historic and contemporary design. Explore the collection.
Cooper Hewitt works with designers from every field, discussing their work, the design process, and more. Watch hundreds of videos and presentations by designers here.
OBJECT OF THE DAY
Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day is a blog that offers a daily dose of design, featuring expert commentary on design objects from Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. Read more about Cooper Hewitt’s collection.
Cooper Hewitt’s Design Dictionary is a video series that vividly illustrates a wide variety of creative techniques. Covering everything from glassblowing to bobbin lacemaking to 3D printing, the series aims to demystify the making of objects by providing a highly visual, behind-the-scenes look into designers’ studios, schools and homes as they work. Each video in the fourteen-part series is under 3 minutes long and features a different designer or artisan hand-picked to demonstrate their skill in action. All videos were shot entirely on-location in New York City. Watch the video series.
OTHER COOPER HEWITT RESOURCES
- Take a free half-hour online class on Skillshare with curators Andrea Lipps and Ellen Lupton, who discuss beauty as an inspiration for design and engage viewers in a design project to explore personal expressions of beauty. Take the class.
HOW might i USE DESIGN IN MY CLASSROOM?
Discover how to incorporate design thinking as a teaching tool, no matter the subject area.
DESIGN IN THE MATH CLASSROOM
See a lesson on how design can be integrated into a math lesson for middle school:
DESIGN IN THE SCIENCE CLASSROOM
See a lesson on how design aligns with the scientific method:
DESIGN IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS CLASSROOM
See a lesson on how design can help students learn in the English Language Arts classroom: