The Design Process: From Idea to Solution

Expand/Collapse The Design Process: From Idea to Solution


What does innovation look like, and how can one generate innovative ideas in the classroom? This collection is built around "design thinking" and is intended to help educators and learners explore the invention of real, practical solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.

The collection, called “The Design Process: From Idea to Solution,” is made up of 4 videos, each with an accompanying lesson plan. Young learners can watch college students from around the country engage actively with the design thinking process, and can draw inspiration from them. Teachers can use the lesson plans to guide their students through the design process, helping students to develop unique, innovative ideas and strategies of their very own.

This collection is made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

  • Generating Ideas

    College students learn to generate ideas for innovation using two different approaches. In the first approach, ideas are generated based on inspiration drawn from existing materials and found objects. In the second approach, students generate ideas based on the needs of different user demographics around the world. All ideas generated by these two approaches contribute to the design thinking process for creating innovative solutions to the world's most complex problems. Video produced by NOVA Education.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Generating Ideas | Lesson Plan

    In this lesson produced by NOVA Education, students learn to generate ideas for innovation using two different approaches. In the first approach, ideas are generated based on inspiration drawn from existing materials and found objects. In the second approach, students generate ideas based on the needs of different user demographics around the world. All ideas generated by these two approaches contribute to the design thinking process for creating innovative solutions to the world's complex problems.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Organizing for Innovation

    Having generated a large quantity of ideas for innovation, college students undertake the task of organizing their ideas by grouping individual ideas together into clusters of related content. Once the organization process is complete, the students generate a list of criteria that they then use to judge the viability of their ideas in the real world. Video produced by NOVA Education.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Organizing for Innovation | Lesson Plan

    In this lesson produced by NOVA Education, students undertake the task of organizing their ideas by grouping individual ideas together into clusters of related content. Once the organization process is complete, the students generate a list of criteria that they then use to judge the viability of their ideas in the real world

    Grades: 6-12
  • Strategy Mapping

    In this video produced by NOVA Education, college students participate in an exercise meant to demonstrate the importance of proper perspective when engaging in the design thinking process. Students then proceed to build “strategy maps,” visual representations of the materials, resources, and people necessary to develop an innovative product and deliver it to end users. The strategy map is designed as a tool to help students to carefully think through the various elements that are integral to the innovation process in the real world.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Strategy Mapping | Lesson Plan

    In this lesson produced by NOVA Education, students build “strategy maps,” visual representations of the materials, resources, and people necessary to develop an innovative product and deliver it to end users. The strategy map is designed as a tool to help students to carefully think through the various elements that are integral to the innovation process in the real world.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Communicating Ideas

    In this video produced by NOVA Education, college students formally present their innovative ideas and strategies to a class. They reflect on the process of design thinking, and highlight key aspects of the systematic approach to design that they find particularly illuminating or useful when seeking to develop innovations to solve problems in the real world. Finally, the students offer advice to other potential innovators.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Communicating Ideas | Lesson Plan

    In this lesson produced by NOVA Education, students present their innovative ideas and strategies. Importantly, students focus on tailoring their presentations to particular audiences.

    Grades: 6-12

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