Stanford's Design for High School


UX, Research, Education, Curriculum Design




The full curriculum guide

A process document



Standford’s Design Thinking crash course is famous in its ability to instill new attitudes about problem solving and design into non-design thinkers in a matter of hours. But for the uninitiated, some aspects of design thinking do get inevitably lost in the process. This teacher’s guide is an annotated remix of the’s Crash Course aimed at helping High School students over design thinking hurdles.


Create a series of lessons to teach Design Thinking to high school students.


Research currently-existing design thinking guides and cross-reference them with writings from current Philosophy of Design thought leaders. Identify knowledge gaps in current summaries and crash courses. Interview high school leaders in Design Thinking to identify pain points with introducing Design Thinking to teachers and students. Create a new lesson guide to address these gaps and pain points. Iterate based on expert feedback.



Our project partnered with The Ellis School to develop a draft of this guide, which received invitations to be workshopped at a National summer conference with Ellis (but is currently shelved due to other comittments). It received an A in Cameron Tonkinwise’s graduate-level Philosophy of Design course at Carnegie Mellon.


Major takeaways include the need to test-run lessons as well as readability with the client early and often. Design thinking is a philosophically divided field and care must be taken when using certain language when the guide is geared toward an audience who may even actively oppose design thinking in the classroom.


A more complete overview of this project & learnings


Role: Designer


Attributions: Jean Marie Sloat, co-designer

Team Size: 2


Project Length: 6 weeks