Design thinking across our school

  • Published on September 16, 2019
  • Indooroopilly State High School is at the forefront of efforts to reinvigorate how design is being taught to secondary school students.

    Indro has supported the development of a range of UQ Idea Hub programs that, over several years, have helped our students to gain the skills and knowledge required to think and lead like an entrepreneur.

    Cayetana Martinez from UQ Idea Hub
    Entrepreneurship and Relationships Manager at UQ Idea Hub, Cayetana Martinez.

    In 2016, Indooroopilly SHS successfully piloted a design and entrepreneurship project with the University of Queensland’s Idea Hub.

    The following year, the project extended to include a range of students engaged in subjects from the Enterprise and Technology Department.

    In 2018, our focus on design thinking and innovation was expanded to include the Languages Department and we are proudly Queensland’s first Secondary School to offer an entrepreneurial student workshop completely in Spanish.

    Entrepreneurship and Relationships Manager at UQ Idea Hub, Cayetana Martinez, visited the school recently to observe classes and gain an insight into how the organisation could work with the school to formulate a design thinking program for teachers and students.

    Indro Year 9 and 10 students were involved in UQ Idea Hub workshops last year; this year our teachers have been piloting an intensive professional learning series focusing on applying design thinking to different curriculum experiences.

    After a five-hour session at UQ, Indooroopilly staff are continuing with this learning through a series of online learning opportunities to connect, collaborate and review design elements linked to the UQ Idea Hub.

    “The brief is that teachers want their students to be better explorers,” Ms Martinez said.

    She said Idea Hub wanted to help students understand that design thinking was a methodology that underpinned the design process. Design needed to be user-centric, she said.

    “The feedback you get from your customer at every stage needs to be reintroduced to the design process, so that by the end of the process, whatever you have designed matches the customer’s needs,” Ms Martinez said.

    She said UQ Idea Hub would develop an experiential learning program giving Indro teachers and students an insight into how a designer works in real life.

    “We will run more workshops, engaging designers and entrepreneurs to walk the students through the process of design thinking and how it applies to their products,” she said.

    Indorooopilly State High School Associate Principal – Junior Secondary, Timothy Barraud, said Indro was proud of its partnership and connection with UQ Idea Hub,

    “It has been wonderful to explore, experiment and learn alongside university leaders,” Mr Barraud said.

    “Our students and staff have benefited from these types of innovative learning experiences with industry mentors.”

    Design work by Indooroopilly State High School students.

    Design work by Indooroopilly State High School students.
    Design work by Indooroopilly State High School students.
    Indooroopilly teachers do professional development at UQ Idea Hub.
    Indooroopilly State High School teachers at an intensive five-hour professional development session at UQ Idea Hub, focusing on design thinking.

    About Cayetana Martinez

    Cayetana Martinez is passionate about entrepreneurship education, agile learning and business. She has a BA in Philosophy, two MAs in Humanities and an MBA. Throughout her professional career, Cayetana has worked in different roles in the start-up space in Europe and in Australia. Cayetana is committed to supporting students and young adults to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset and to launch feasible and meaningful businesses. She is a TEDx speaker and a CSIRO mentor and currently works at UQ’s Idea Hub as the Entrepreneurship and Relationships Manager.


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