Design Thinking Teacher Training - free resources!

Recently, Timberline and Trail Ridge STEM Coordinators held a two hour Design Thinking training for any teachers in the Skyline feeder system. Please read on to find out more about our training.



Our purpose in the training was to have teachers understand + apply the process phases involved in design thinking, participate in a human-centered design challenge, and connect design thinking to their classrooms.


We emphasized the fact that design thinking is much different than traditional teaching. Because of this, it can often be uncomfortable to do with a class the first time. Some of the main pedagogical differences are below.



Our participants ran through a small design challenge themselves. They had to recreate a chore for a user in the room.



After interviewing the user to build empathy, the group had to create a “How might we..” statement in order to define their problem.


After the groups came up with 1-2 HMW statements, they got to the fun part of design thinking. They started the ideation process!


Our groups used whiteboard tables, Think Tables, to ideate. Throughout this process the groups were given guidelines including sketching all ideas, pretending they had over 1 millions dollars, every idea had to include magic, and more. This allowed the groups to think outside the box of normalcy.

Next, our groups prototyped their top two ideas. The buzz around the room was palpable. All these teachers together after a long, hard day at work were giggling and sharing ideas like they were back in elementary school. There wasn’t a care in that room that matter beyond prototyping for their user.


After prototyping, they presented their products or systems to their users for feedback. With 3 minutes they redesigned their prototypes based on the feedback of their user.

The great part of facilitating a training like this is hearing the comments afterwards:

“Engaging and easy to relate to classroom activities!”

“I really enjoyed the training. I loved that we were able to experience the design process and walk through it. “It was a great introduction, I look forward to learning more!!”

“Very well laid out step by step with interactive activities “

“I really liked opening the conversation to the interesting, doesn't exist yet. I also like that the prototype doesn't have to be a model.”

“It was challenging for me to let go of the logistics, I wanted to clearly define each part of our prototype.”


It is clear that this training challenged our teachers to think out of the box when it comes to planning instruction for students. We can’t wait to see what great instruction comes from these training sessions.


For our presentation please click here. At the end of the presentation you will find other useful links and books related to design thinking in the classroom.