Design Thinking with Kids: 5 Great Bay Area Projects


I love working in the Bay Area. Not only is it home to world-renowned designers at places like Stanford’s and IDEO, but it also happens to serve as base to some of the most inspiring projects in design education, project-based learning, and design thinking with kids. Here are just a few that have blown me away with their passion and creativity in the last year:

KIDmob is a mobile firm focused on project-based learning for kids.

KIDmob is a mobile firm focused on project-based learning for kids.

1. KIDmob

KIDmob is the mobile, kid-integrated design firm. We are a Bay Area not for profit organization that believes design education is an opportunity for creative engagement and community empowerment. We take our passion on the road to bring our innovative approach to local communities around the world.

KIDmob first reached out to our team last summer for an initiative they were calling “Friendship Month.” Their energy and passion for action in programs from San Francisco to Haiti are contagious.

We'll be hosting mini workshops at the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco May 3. Register here.

We’ll be hosting mini workshops at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco May 3. Register here.

2. The Children’s Creativity Museum

The Children’s Creativity Museum is an interactive art and technology museum for kids. Our mission is to nurture the 3C’s of 21st-century skills – Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication – in all youth and families. We believe that the ability to think critically, collaborate broadly, communicate effectively and generate and prototype multiple solutions, is the core of a 21st-century education.

The Creativity Museum played an important role in the development of the City X Project by sharing their experiences and allowing us to observe their design thinking programs. We’re excited to be collaborating with them again as a featured partner at this year’s Creativity Day. You can also register for a City X Project “mini-workshop.”

3. K12 Lab Network

We inspire and develop the creative confidence of educators and support edu innovators catalyzing new models for teaching and learning.

An initiative of Stanford’s, the K12 Lab is home to a variety of innovative projects linking design thinking to education. For project ideas and inspiration check out their wiki and especially their awesome design thinking for educators toolkit.

4. Project H Design

Teaching youth to design and build their future with heart, hands, and hammers.

Project H Design, based in Berkeley, develops innovative approaches to design-based education. Over the last five years they’ve amassed a toolbox of open-source lesson plans I would encourage every educator to look at. You can also learn more about the story of the Project H founders in this inspiring documentary.

5. Galileo Learning

Galileo is a summer camp with a mission to “create a world of fearless innovators.” Galileo’s founder Glenn Tripp is an inspiring educator who has meticulously designed curriculum for project-based learning with a focus on innovation.