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Design Thinking increases student engagement and achievement.  When students can see a clear connection between what they learn in the classroom and how it relates to their lives, they are inspired to learn.  We strive to make learning fun without sacrificing rigor.  For more subject area specific stories see the Student Achievement and Engagement page.

Educators have also transformed their teaching communities using Design Thinking.  For more on this see the Enhanced Teaching Communities page.


A middle school literacy coach in East Palo Alto, CA, used Design Thinking to teach inference; something that many identify as the most challenging part of literacy to teach. Once students started designing for the characters in books, they blew the inference section of standardized tests out of the water. As a result their reading comprehension improved 2 grade levels in just 20 weeks. To learn more about this project check out this video:


See how Heatherwood Elementary School in the Boulder Valley School District has integrated Design Thinking  at their school.  From offering a Design Thinking Challenge Night where students and parents worked together to apply Design Thinking practices to real life problems to having 3rd graders redesign the school cafeteria; students, parents, teachers and administrators are using Design Thinking to foster more innovation and solve the challenges their school faces. To learn more, watch their video:

Design Thinking Challenge Night from Jamie J Steele on Vimeo.


High school students used Design Thinking to develop a a sense of community in East Palo Alto, CA. After researching ideas, they decided to put on a community street fair. Tying into their school content standards and building immeasurable skills and experiences, this community design challenge gave the students a strong sense of pride, ownership and community. To learn more about this project check out the video:



The most valuable part of working with Createdu was... "learning about the process and power of Design Thinking AND having the chance to practice it and apply it in our educational environment. Having [Createdu] available to work with small groups of teachers on specific projects was an important part of embedding the methodology."
-Middle School Principal

Design Thinking increases achievement and engagement by challenging students with real world complex problems and encouraging them to take risks. Createdu founder Coeylen Barry spoke about Design Thinking in schools at TEDx Denver Teachers in 2013. See the talk here.

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