The picture above shows some senior students are teaching middle school students (years 6-9) how to create parametric 3D models. This student-initiated and student-led course highlights what our design program is all about— Community, Leadership, and Empowerment.
Just a year ago, the three students leading the activity were in grade ten product design learning 3D parametric modeling software (Autodesk Fusion 360) for the first time. In that short time, they have grown in their skills and confidence so much so that they have decided to create a co-curricular course to teach 3D modeling to their younger peers.
This sharing of knowledge and passion for a topic is impactful. Often, students conceive of leadership as “being in charge” Yet, here we see leadership in the form of sharing knowledge and inspiring others with their passion for creating and inquiring. And it’s all the more impactful as it is coming from their peers. As students of design, the sharing of knowledge and skills is essential to developing innovative solutions. We rely on each other to gain new insights, skills, and techniques.
Learning 3D modeling software and way of designing can be challenging—it’s a new way of understanding how forms are created and how their components interact with each other. Throughout their studies in MYP and DP product design, we’ve taken the approach of collaborative learning, with students working at their own pace and with each other, to learn and apply their skills. These girls have adopted the same approach, collaborating with each other to create lessons that allow their peers to work at their own pace, while at the same time working with each other to develop their skills. In this way they are building a community of designers through collaboration.
Design is not exclusively about solving problems—it is also about building and nurturing this community of problem-solvers. When students are empowered, they can actively take a role in growing their community of designers.