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Innovation and Design Lab

Timothy Christian HSTimothy Christian High School, (Elmhurst, IL). Timothy Christian High School offers the Innovation and Design Lab (IDL) program, a sequence of four semester courses in which students apply design thinking to problem-solving. The first-semester course, IDL 1, teaches students the basics of design thinking while applying the use of various tools (e.g., 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, and vinyl cutters). Students begin basic programming of Arduino components. As they progress through the IDL program, students solve more complex problems and gain more freedom and independence. Students leave the program with a design thinking mindset that better equips them to develop creative solutions to design complaints and problems. For example, the Introduction to Business students partner with IDL1 students to design products that IDL can produce and sell on the school’s website. In the Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) course, students run a virtual business. These students must participate in real trade shows where they deliver elevator pitches about their products and the design, man a booth, and track sales. As a result, VEI students develop business skills that many business majors may not learn until after college.

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