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Designing to Make a Difference

Third-grade students from the Junior School and fourth-grade students from the Country Day School participated in Design to Make a Difference, a design challenge program created to further support the Maker Movement in schools. This event not only fosters creativity and innovation but also encourages students to develop practical solutions for real-world problems.

Sponsored by Brittany Andy at the Junior School and Kate Weber at the Country Day School, the event featured student teams working collaboratively to invent, prototype, and 3D print a product designed to help people. This hands-on approach enhances students’ problem-solving skills and broadens their understanding of the impact of technology and design.

The Junior School team designed the "Highlight Hero," a device aimed at helping students track their reading and accurately cite their evidence. Their innovative approach earned them silver medals in Teamwork and Ingenuity, reflecting their ability to work cohesively and think creatively.

The team from Country Day School designed the “Non-Tangling Walkie Coffee,” a multifunctional dog leash that allows users to walk multiple dogs without tangling the leashes while also holding coffee or other drinks. They 3D-printed tubes to slide on the leashes to prevent tangling and created a drink holder that also functions as a leash handle. By taking prototypes home to test with their own dogs, the students engaged in iterative design, learning from each version's flaws and continuously improving their product. Their dedication and perseverance earned them a gold medal in Grit.

Events like Design to Make a Difference empower students to think globally and act locally, teaching them to create solutions that can have a positive impact on their communities and beyond. By participating in such projects, students gain a balanced worldview and acquire practical skills that prepare them for future challenges in an increasingly interconnected world.

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