Design thinking is a great way to help students develop empathy towards others and to design solutions that help other people. 3D modelling with Makers Empire allows students to express their creative ideas and make designs that communicate their interests, opinions and thoughts about important issues in their lives. At Makers Empire we value diversity and actively encourage acceptance and participation of students from all backgrounds, cultures, genders, and abilities.
Many of our lesson plans, design challenges, and monthly competitions ask students to design something for another person. By working through the design process in these activities, students develop empathy for each other and put their own needs aside to design something for someone else. They might create something that another person likes or needs, solves a problem for others, or expresses their gratitude for a friend or community member.
In this post, we will share some of our favourite ways that Makers Empire promotes learning experiences that are inclusive, human-centred, and encourage students to embrace diversity in their communities.
1. Monthly In-App Competitions
Our monthly competitions often highlight and value a cultural celebration or holiday and we encourage students from all backgrounds to participate, share their experiences, and learn about a diverse range of cultures. Check out these great entries from our Chinese New Year of the Rat competition from earlier this year.
2. Makers Empire’s Lesson Plans
Our lesson plans are written in an open-ended fashion to allow for maximum participation and inclusivity. For example, Our Let’s Get Decorated lesson plan asks students to design a decoration to help celebrate a holiday that is important to their own family. Students of all cultures, background and religions are equally catered for in this lesson, while having the opportunity to learn about and understand celebrations and special days that are important to other students.
If you’re a Makers Empire customer, you can download the lesson plan from the Teacher Dashboard.
3. School Case Studies
We have hundreds of case studies of how our schools are using Makers Empire together with the design thinking process to solve real-world problems for people in their communities. Develop empathy by understanding the experiences of others through deep insights and observations is central to the Design Thinking process.
We are encouraged by primary school students developing solutions for people living with a disability:
We’ve also been impressed by designs for real-world contexts such as students designing a new school playground which is accessible for all students:
We also cheer on these students who have created arm guards to help wheelchair athletes:
Finally, a great way to glimpse the diversity we encourage and promote at Makers Empire is to check out the amazing array of avatars students create to represent themselves in the app. These avatars are as diverse as our students themselves with every colour, shape, size and fashion sense represented and celebrated.
Mandi Dimitriadis, DipT. is the award-winning, highly regarded and passionate Director of Learning at Makers Empire. She is an experienced classroom teacher who recognises the power of technology to enhance teaching and improve educational outcomes. Mandi has extensive experience with curriculum development and learning, having previously developed programs for the Australian Government’s Department of Education, and having created custom curriculum for Makers Empire schools in the USA, China and the UAE. She is passionate about Design Thinking and how best to prepare today’s students for the future.