Designing Mechanical Festival Floats: STEM, PBL, and Design Thinking Project

This video showcases a STEM, PBL, and transdisciplinary project where students used the design thinking method to create a mechanical float for a specific world language festival.

Install Birdbrain Server and Scratch…

Hummingbird Duo Coding Cards:…

I would like to give a special thanks to the following people for making this project possible. Karen Luu, Diana Caudill, Charolette Yao, Heidi Peterson, Gene MacLachlan, and Danielle Rich.

Intro Music by Ryan Little “Summer Dreams”:
Background Music from – “Not this time” by Simon Gribb

PBL Project: Mars STEM Challenges

NASA JPL Video: 7 Minutes of Terror

Intro to Project-Based Learning:

STEM Education Overview:

Special thanks to:
Elizabeth DiRenzo – STEM Specialist
Becca Goess – Design Specialist

5th Grade Team – Erin Curtiss, Stephanie Cory, Jay Keshaw, David Archer, and Megan Greene

Librarian – Megan Greene
Intro Drone Footage by Gary Johnston –

Music by Ryan Little
Intro/Outro: “Summer Dreams”
Background: “Soulful”

You can find me at:


Design Thinking Standards for K-12 Students

Banner 1- Design Thinking Standards

The Design Thinking Standards (DTS) provide educators a foundation of what students are expected to learn and do when using the design thinking method. These learning goals are guidelines that educators can use, adjust and modify to meet the needs of their students. The following standards were developed based on the work and teachings of the (Institute of Design at Stanford University), a leader in design thinking education, and its K12 Lab Network, a program that brings design thinking into schools.

The DTS are composed of design practices (skills that students will be able to do), core design ideas (knowledge that students will understand), and design mindsets (set of attitudes essential for effective application of design thinking).

There are two sets of DTS’s. The first set of standards incorporates the K12 Lab’s design thinking principles (or mindsets) and is recommended for educators who teach design thinking to grade K-5 students. These principles or mindsets are straightforward and easier to understand by elementary students. The second set of DTS incorporates the liberatory design process and its set of mindsets. The liberatory design mindsets are slightly more complex and would be suitable for educators who teach design thinking to grade 6-12 students.

Please visit my website to find the standards. You will also find links to the Google Doc version of these standards. design thinking standards

How To: Quick Tutorial for New Google Slides Presentation

This video will show you how to use Google Slides like a Google App expert!

Watch my Google Drive video as well!

Music by Ryan Little
Outro: “Falling Down”

You can find me at:

STEM Activity for 2nd Grade: Self Identity Box

Our 2nd graders built a foldable box that contained objects that represented who they were. This project incorporated social studies, engineering, science and mathematics.

In design class, Becca Goess and I helped students build and design their foldable boxes. We first had them learn about measurements to gain an understanding of the size and dimensions of their box.

Want to see more of what we do in our STEM/EdTech class?
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Intro Music by Ryan Little “Falling Down”:
Background Music by Ryan Little “Slow Down”:

Becca Goess, STEM Design Specialist:
Denise Brohm, 2nd Grade Teacher: