Innovation Lab

The NPES Innovation Lab is steeped in the philosophy of John Dewey by preparing students by mentoring them to be curious, creative and develop a sense of self in the larger community. The innovation lab is a space for students to create with purpose and to explore how they can design objects that improve the lives of those around them. The innovation lab focuses on extending the learning that is happening in the classroom by offering tools and guidance to make connections to their learning for a specific audience. Students can consider their audience’s strengths and weaknesses, developing the skill of empathy and contributing to a larger community.

Students are guided using a design thinking process to iterate solutions. The process consists of five phases: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. The phases are linear to an extent but through the process, students learn they may need to re-define or do some rapid prototyping to come up with a viable product or solution for the opportunity and audience they identified. This process of iteration helps students dig deeper into the course material and understand the community they are trying to help.

 

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