Faculty Corner: Design Thinking, Makery, Engineering and Technology Department

We asked some of the members of the Design Thinking, Makery, Engineering and Technology (D-MET) department to describe the type of learning that the K – 12 Learning Commons will facilitate. Each of them works with students in multiple grade levels, helping to incorporate the design-thinking process and applied learning into a variety of courses, from middle-school shop to ninth-grade biology to art and engineering.

Wendi Kamiya

"Taking a problem or challenge and designing and making a real and tangible solution enables students to develop deep understanding and learning that endures."

Justin Lai

"Applied learning teaches you the complexity of a project. You have an idea to make something and think it's going to be so easy, but it involves so many steps and iterations to actually bring it to fruition."

Dee Ching

"We are teaching students how to collaborate, communicate and value each other's ideas. The social-emotional component is an important part of their learning journey."

Aaron Dengler

"We are trying to teach children about the world outside their heads. It's the application of John Dewey's philosophy that children learn better by doing."

Liz Castillo

"We see how excited and intrinsically motivated students are when they are asked to design creative solutions to real-world problems. This type of learning engages students because it makes learning both personal and meaningful."

Tedd Landgraf

"I believe this has to do with developing creative problem solvers. It's about building confidence in students so they know that they can be a force for action and change."

Taryn Loveman

"This is the kind of training that will make students competitive and flexible in the future, and it gives them powerful tools to be a positive force in the world."