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 Safety Training and Upcoming Events

InnoHub Safety Training – September 24, 2021

Seventeen teachers and staff completed the InnoHub Safety Training and Best Practices workshop last Friday.  After completing the training, which involved practical tasks at 6 stations, they joined in a Kahoot to test their knowledge.  They also received a badge (designed by Jordan Wambeke and made on our vinyl cutter) for their ID cards.  This indicates they have completed the training and they may book the InnoHub (subject to availability) any block of the day.

The stations included:

  • First Aid & Emergency Procedures
  • Box Cutter Safety
  • Ring Light Procedures
  • Hand Tools & Materials
  • Scroll Saw Safety
  • Clean up & Lock up Procedures

Teachers Shared

Liza Fagan and Greg Elsen also shared their experiences on bringing classes to the InnoHub last year.  Liza’s Chemistry students designed molecules, made models, and answered questions about the process.  Greg shared his experiences with AP Human Geography classes.  His students worked in small groups to bring an agriculture model to life through stop motion animation.


Basic InnoHub information


Upcoming Events in October

October 16 – ACAMIS Tech Conference Watch Party  RSVP HERE

October 22 – #InnoPubPD – Stop Motion Animation

InnoHub Feb/March Happenings

The InnoHub was as busy as ever last month.  We hit the ground running immediately after Chinese New Year with Liza, Rachel, and Adam’s chemistry classes.  They designed a theoretical molecule that doesn’t currently exist and used recycled materials to build a 3D model of their molecules.  The students finished the project by presenting their molecules to staff and fellow students.

Middle School

Elizabeth and Ann’s STEM 7 class visited the InnoHub to examine a dissected laptop and compare the contents to the parts of a cell.  The students then dissected some small wind-up toys and drew their own comparison diagrams.



Fernanda brought her 8th grade art class to the InnoHub to carve linocut printing blocks and film video tutorials of their process. The videos are on their class Seesaw account and they are awesome!  Here are a couple for your viewing pleasure.


There’s More!

Through most of the month Katrina and her drama crew have been in and out in the afternoons and evenings painting and building set pieces for the upcoming Spring musical, Ranked.
Jordan and Lisa brought their Advisory classes to the InnoHub to have their students create personal logos and turn them into MacBook decals on our new vinyl cutter.  If you would like to learn more about the vinyl cutter, we will introduce this tool at our next #InnoPubPD on May 7th.
Greg brought his AP Human Geography class back to the InnoHub for a third time, this time to create 3D models illustrating different urban planning systems from around the world.


Did you know that the first-ever NCPA Wood Shop Club finished its inaugural trimester?  It was so popular with students we had to add a second section in T3 to meet the demand!  The InnoHub is utilized for ASA’s every day.


And to cap off the month, Jordan and Lisa organized two staff PD’s.  The first was an introduction to Design Thinking, with special guest Yosef, and the second was a crash course in basic woodshop safety and techniques.


As always, thank you to all the teachers who visited and utilized the InnoHub and we look forward to another month packed with new classes and activities!  Don’t forget to contact Jordan Wambeke if you want to schedule time for your class in the InnoHub or want some help integrating the InnoHub into your curriculum!

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!