Project Background

There are approximately 155,000 school age youth in the Birmingham Metro Area. Of these students, a significant percentage live in poverty, particularly those in the urban center and in rural areas. Poverty affects student educational achievement and attainment as a result of multiple in and out of school factors. As a city and as a region we have the responsibility to provide all 155,000 youth with high quality education and memorable learning experiences that expose students to possibilities for their future. This burden should not fall on schools alone, it will take the entire community working together.

Challenge Objective

This year’s FEAST community design challenge seeks to fund an idea that may demonstrate a method for bridging these disparities. Proposals may focus on teacher preparation, after-school programs, improved learning environments, literacy, STEM/STEAM/STREAM programming, or anything else that can a child’s learning experience inside or outside of the classroom.

Educators and non-educators, designers and non-designers, adult and students are all encouraged to submit thoughtful proposals.  Applications should explain the role that design and design thinking play (or will play) in the advancement of their concept.  Applicants are encouraged to propose solutions that have the potential for replication across a school system or any other organized educational environment.

Resources

IDEO.org is a global nonprofit dedicated to applying human-centered design to alleviate poverty.  Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building a bunch of prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.

Design Kit www.designkit.org

The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design

http://www.designkit.org/resources/1

A free download, The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design reveals IDEO.org’s process with the key mindsets that underpin how and why they think about design for the social sector, 57 clear-to-use design methods for new and experienced practitioners, and from-the-field case studies of human-centered design in action. The Field Guide has everything you need to understand the people you’re designing for, to have more effective brainstorms, to prototype your ideas, and to ultimately arrive at more creative solutions.

K-12 Lean Labs

K-12 Lean Labs is a Birmingham-based K-12 education incubator focused on identifying, developing, and launching innovative technologies, programs, and solutions that positively impact Alabama students. K-12 Lean Labs will be hosting a free design thinking workshop on Saturday, September 12 (DATE) to guide the use of design methods in developing solutions for social action.  The workshop will be held at the Innovation Depot iLab.