Design Thinking Innovators Camp

11825708_872358139512492_13931890127804989_n
Clients

NIS (Kazakhstan)

Tasks
Design Thinking Innovators Camp
Description

Silicon Valley Innovation Center organized a 2-week educational summer camp for top high school students from a network of innovative public schools in Kazakhstan - Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.

 

Short report

 

"Silicon Valley Innovation Center organized a 2-week educational summer camp for top high school students from a network of innovative public schools in Kazakhstan - Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools. 

The “Design Thinking Innovators Camp” included lectures and hands-on workshops on theory and practice of design thinking, empathy development, ideation, idea prototyping, testing and iteration. The comprehensive curriculum was delivered by leading experts in design thinking and problem-solving. The program also included sessions on such vital skills as value proposition development and customer identification (using the famous Lego Serious Play method), efficient public speaking, team building, pitching and 3D modeling. During the solution testing phase each student practiced giving constructive criticism and reviews on each other’s project. 

"Our goal as program developers was to foster innovative and creative thinking in these amazingly smart children, and to help them realize that already now they have everything they need to identify existing problems in their communities or elsewhere and suggest non-trivial and viable solutions, contributing to a better, safer and smarter world", said the program director, Marina Geer. 

The teens worked on their problems and solutions as teams, and all solutions were presented to a panel of expert judges during the “My Breakthrough Discovery” pitch session at the end of the camp program. All the projects turned out to be heavily focused on some imperfections or social problems various groups in their home communities are facing at the moment. The innovative solutions included: Smart Bottle, Self-Cleaning Roads, College Counseling App, Smart Suitcase, Energy-Producing Treadmill, and Safe Roads. Each project received an award in one of the following categories: "Best Design", "Best Team Work", "The Most Futuristic Idea", "The Most Rational Idea", "The Most World-Changing Idea", "The Most User-Centric Idea". 

Besides lectures and hands-on workshops, the campers had an opportunity to explore and experience Silicon Valley by visiting some of its top educational institutions and organizations, such as UC Berkeley, UCSF, University of San Francisco, Stanford University, Google and Intel HQ, TechShop, as well as several tech and innovation museums - The Exploratorium, Computer History Museum and Autodesk Gallery of Design.

The SVIC team was delighted to see all the enthusiasm and great results of hard work each student has put into the very intensive two weeks. Aynura Kubasheva, an 11th grader and one of the participants, who dreams about becoming an entrepreneur, reflected on her experience later on:

"... These two weeks have given me what I usually sought for months. I realized that there are a lot of people like me. And it means that I have to work really hard going forward. But there also are people who believe in me. If in the future I won't open a multimillion dollar company, all the hundreds of books that I have ever read, will be in vain. But having come so far, can I just give up now? ... "

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