Computer science students in grades 6 and 8 put their design skills to use, creating their first actual product of the semester for a recent class assignment called the “Name Card Project.”
“The Name Card Project products were accomplished by my students covering the ‘design thinking process’ concept. The students enjoyed working and creating, going through all the steps (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test) of the process. They are very proud of their products,” reported middle school computer science teacher Sharmila Misra.
The lesson was based on the “design thinking process” used by Stanford Graduate School. The project’s objective was to teach students to empathize with user (customer) requirements by creating a business card to their satisfaction, Misra explained. But, unlike a typical business card that could easily be lost or misplaced, the goal was to create one that would persuade the customer to save it for future use.
During the process, students gathered requirements as to what their user (who were their student partners) would like to know about them. They then made sketches of their ideas, took feedback and created the final product. They made sure their partner was satisfied with the end result before delivering it.
The cards reflected each creator’s personality traits, hobbies and passions, including gymnastics, traveling, math, music and science. They showed their creativity using various methods of communication to portray things like their favorite vacation spots, food, sports and pets.
“I truly enjoyed creating a note card that represented who I am, because I rarely get a chance to harness my imagination and let it propel me in the right direction … in a safe and efficient environment,” said grade 8 computer science student Matthew Hajjar.
Classmate Aryana Far, grade 8, added “getting to interpret our creative abilities into an assignment was pretty fun. I loved that … all of the posters were unique and illustrated aspects of my classmates that I had not seen before.”
“I am very proud of my students’ creativity. I believe these are the best business cards I’ve ever seen,” said Misra. “They speak so eloquently of the [people] they represent. My room looks so alive with them!”