Local government agencies work daily on a wide variety of complex challenges and opportunities including town planning, climate and environmental challenges, finance, parks, water, and wildlife management. All of these issues can easily be included in many curriculum areas of school learning. In our testing of such partnerships in Colorado, we have found government agencies only too willing to visit schools and share their practice. All of these challenges involve problem identification, action plans, cost/benefit analysis, and post introduction analysis. Developing these skills in K-12 students is vital for their future success.
Local businesses can offer fascinating insights into how they identify consumer needs, develop products, package them, and eventually get them to market. Students can learn about markets, budgeting, the economy, competition, as well as innovations in technology, customer identification, and marketing platforms.
Local non-governmental non-profits are involved in meeting many community needs including solving homelessness, feeding families, and caring for the elderly. They too are more than willing to share their knowledge and experience with school students.
Please enjoy our documentary film promoting DESIGN THINKING in an interaction between a local Colorado businessman and middle school students on a product design challenge: