Design Thinking in Action

Design Thinking in Action

Design Thinking happens all around us.  Let’s look at some ways Jordan and some of his ASA students have applied this year.

Alarm Cover

Back in November, you might remember when the alarm was accidentally triggered.  The emergency alarms are tucked under the counter at the receptionist’s desk. Over the summer we added the additional options for full lockdown and partial lockdown.  You can see from the image below that they are completely exposed and accessible.

After an hour of measuring and data collection, design sketches were made.   Then a detailed digital design was made before cutting the acrylic pieces on the laser cutter.

After a few rounds of testing for fit, the assembly and installation were complete.  Now the alarm buttons are secure!

Sharp Objects Lock Box

After observing that the check-out system for the box cutters was too reliant on the honor system.  A redesign was in order.

A lockbox was designed to keep sharp objects more secure.  This also improved traceability for students using the box cutters.

Jordan followed the same plan as in the Alarm covers: sketch, digital design, laser cutter.


While the box cutters and sharp objects are more secure, there is still an issue with the slots being too tight and the check-out sheet needs refining.  There is always room to improve systems!

Hot Glue Gun Holders

Design Thinking often starts with identifying a problem.  This project started with piles of glue guns left in the cabinet and tables covered in hot glue.  Glue guns can be messy, especially after a group of students filter through the InnoHub.  A storage solution was in order.  The goal of the first model was to keep them neatly stored in the cupboard, catch the glue when not in use, and hold extra glue sticks.  Design 1 accomplished that.


After using them for a semester, Jordan noticed they were filled with excess hot glue.  A redesign was in order to make the racks last longer with a removable glue catcher. Two more prototypes were made.  Neither has worked as well as the original.

When will the next prototype come out?

Wood Storage

At the start of the Woodworking ASA, Jordan received the lumber for the whole trimester and had nowhere to store it.  He posed this problem to his ASA students in the spring of 2021 to design a solution.  The parameters were:  mobility and accessibility while accommodating all sizes of wood.  Due to the shorted year in spring 2021, the students that designed it did not build it.  In working towards building the original design, this year’s students have made alterations to adapt to their needs.

Students have plans to add pegboard for tool storage to the face of the cart.  This will make tools handy and declutter the tool cart in the InnHub main space.

How can you use design thinking in your daily life?

InnoHub January Happenings – January 2021

Numerous projects, visions, and plans came to life in the short period between winter break and the new year holiday.

Here are some of the highlights:

NHS students designed and built signs for their New Year’s Carnival, with a little help from the Wood Shop ASA.
The Elsen’s, always big supporters of the InnoHub, both brought classes to the InnoHub.  Katrina Elsen brought her Drama II class to do some costume and set design for the upcoming musical, Ranked.
Greg Elsen brought his AP Human Geo class to film stop motion animations of agricultural practices from around the globe.
Nina Jiang and Chris Cheronis brought their Chinese 12 and Pre-Calc AB classes to the InnoHub to make some gifts for CNY.  Students had a choice of making either keychains or LED red packets.
Last month was the busiest month the InnoHub has had this school year, and next month is looking even busier!  Can’t wait to see even more of you utilizing our makerspace!

InnoHub Open House Recap

Thank you to everyone who joined us at last Friday’s InnoHub Open House!  We had a huge turnout, and everyone had a great time participating in a range of Maker-related activities, like:


Speed Sewing with Katrina Elsen 

 Robotics with Elizabeth Cooper 

Lego Stop Motion Videos with Lisa Hughes 

 Woodworking with Jordan Wambeke 

For those of you who missed out; don’t worry, we’ll be hosting more events and starting an InnoHub PD series in the near future.  Stay tuned!  And as always, if you have any questions about incorporating Making or the InnoHub into your curriculum please feel free to reach out to Jordan Wambeke on Outlook or Teams.  See you all at the next event! 


InnoHub Monthly Happenings – December 2020

The NCPA Innovation Hub has been a popular place to be the past couple of months! Here is a run down of what you have missed and what is coming up:

December Events

Introduction to the InnoHub with the HOD’s

On December 7th, HOD’s participated in an PD session in the InnoHub where they explored the design cycle, learned how our students can benefit from the makerspace, and discussed ways they could incorporate the InnoHub in their curriculum.

The InnoHub is a space for students to create, experiment, and learn through hands-on activities.

You can schedule your class in the space to maximize different learning styles, or send students to work on projects.


Flying Pigs

Rachel Dragos’ AP Physics classes did experiments with flying pigs on strings in the InnoHub!Students in groups determined how long it took for a plastic pig, replete with flapping wings, to fly around one cycle of the pigs “flight” path by observing and measuring the period, but can only use a meter stick.

Students used trigonometry, components of forces and equations to arrive at their calculations.


Turkey Bowl, Alumni Panel, and Cookie Exchange

The InnoHub is also a great space to host an event!  It offers flexible seating, a large screen and projector, plenty of outlets, and a beautiful view of the field and temple.

Coming in January

We are excited to host a staff InnoHub Open House on Friday, January 8th from 3:30-4:30PM+.  We will have a variety of stations for you to explore the “maker” in you while socializing and enjoying some tasty treats and beverages.  Specific activities will be shared in January.

Please RSVP HERE by December 22 so we can prepare enough materials and food for this event.

NCPA #edtech Briefing: Thursday, November 5


The Innovation Hub is staffed, resourced, and ready for action!  James and Jordan shared information about how this #makerspace can be used for any class.  They also showed us how to book it, and the common resources and materials you would find there.

Stay tuned for more information, events and trainings related to the #InnovationHub

Leo also talked about how GradeCam is a helpful tool.  It cuts down time spent grading, organizes your data in an easy to use dashboard, and gives immediate feedback to students.

You can find the link to log in to GradeCam on the #staffportal

Go HERE to complete a form and have the IT Dept. set up your classes in GradeCam.

Enter the Laser Cutter

The Inno-Hub is open for business! Er, learning. Despite all the fancy tools inside, this is an accessible space with a low learning curve. To show you how low, Yosef gives you a three-minute rundown on how simple it is to use our laser cutter!

Want to learn more? Come to one of our upcoming Friday drop-in sessions and cut something yourself.

Come to the Inno-Hub Grand Opening!

NCPA faculty and staff, you’re all invited to the grand opening of the Inno-Hub! If you’ve yet to set foot in our awesome new space, this is an opportunity to try out a variety of stations and learn how the tools on offer can give you new ways to help students meet your courses’ standards. RSVP according to the information below; seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis:​​