We often tell our students that technology, whether devices or software, wasn’t invented in a day. The phone, TV or gaming console that they use was developed over years by multiple people and is still being improved upon now.
All invention processes start with protototyping. Inventors create a quick and dirty object and then test and refine it. There’s often a lot of failure involved and inventors need to develop resilience to keep trying and overcoming challenges.
NewTechKids believes wholeheartedly that in order to nurture the next generation of innovators and technologists, we have to help kids, from a young age, to become familiar and comfortable with prototyping as well as structured ddesign processes, testing and iteration. Hence, we structure all of our classes around this process.
Sadly, most schools aren’t teaching prototyping as a skill as most focus on students delivering final products and not submitting failed or incomplete work.
More than a decade ago, Deborah Carter, our Founder and Managing Director, met Scott Witthoft at Stanford University’s Design School and began exchanging ideas on how to embed design thinking and design education into school curriculum.
Scott is now at the University of Texas’ UT School of Design and Creative Technologies. He interviewed her about how NewTechKids uses prototyping to teach computer science and to help kids ages 4 – 16 develop growth mindsets and design thinking patterns.
We’ve made huge strides in teaching invention and prototyping, especially when it comes to girls, kids of colour and kids from low-income communities with little to no previous exposure to tech education.
Interested in learning how? Read Scott’s interview with Deborah.