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Introduction to Design Thinking

This summer's Creativity, Innovation, and Design course is "Introduction to Design Thinking."

Design thinking is a multidisciplinary creative problem-solving methodology used by individuals and teams to create world-changing products and services and to tackle the most complex human-centered challenges of our time. This course will be a hands-on introduction to design thinking.

You will end up equipped with the skills and confidence to creatively tackle complicated problems in the real world.

Skills to be covered:

  • conducting primary research (through interviewing and observation),
  • critical thinking and data analysis,
  • generating ideas through techniques like brainstorming,
  • rapid prototyping with physical and digital materials,
  • collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds,
  • learning how to give and receive feedback, and
  • presentation and communication skills.

Questions to be explored:

  • Where do great ideas come from?
  • When you get stuck, how can you get un-stuck?
  • How can you create innovations that are meaningful to people?
  • And much more.

"I am amazed, I never thought I could learn so much important knowledge so fast."

- Student from last summer's class

100% real-time interaction

The instructor, a Dartmouth professor, will be with you every step of the way—no pre-recorded lectures or online quizzes. Instead, every day you will converse and collaborate in real-time with your supportive learning community. You, your professor, and your classmates will embark on a journey of discovery, creation, and reflection—together.

"The interactive and joyful environment of the classes where you get to interact with almost all the peers through multiple breakout rooms was one of my favorite aspects. This allowed me to understand the different perspectives that a problem is being looked at which helped broaden my thought boundaries."

- Student from last summer's class

Collaborative, experiential learning

We believe you can't learn design simply by reading or hearing about it. That's why this course is composed entirely of interactive activities—some during class time, in our Zoom classroom and breakout rooms; others for homework as you work on individual exercises or collaborate with teammates around the globe.

Coursework will be a series of short design projects and exercises. Activities will include creating online idea boards, interviewing people, drawing sketches, building prototypes, creating presentations, and more. At the end of the course, you will be asked to write a short reflection about what you learned.

"I loved this course and would recommend it to anyone else."

- Student from last summer's class

A college-level course for the college-bound

This course is based on the popular Dartmouth course called ENGS 12: Design Thinking, and adapted for an intensive four-day online summer format for high school students.

Although the curriculum is designed to be accessible to a novice audience, it has not been "dumbed down"—we believe in your ability and potential, and we are here to support you in this college-level learning experience.

"This was one of the most engaging classes I’ve ever been in (online or not) and I enjoyed every minute of it!"

- Student from last summer's class

"I’m so grateful to have been a part of this class. I’ve learned many skills that I’m looking forward to using throughout the upcoming school year in my classes and as I design my college admissions journey approach. Thank you!"

- Student from last summer's class

"I would just like to say a gratitude-filled thank you to Professor Eugene and Dartmouth for giving my classmates and me this opportunity. This type of class is something I personally don't see very often in high school and a class all about design is something I am very interested in. It's surprising how fast the week went by, but also how much you learned in that limited amount of time."

- Student from last summer's class



This course is offered by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, and supported by the Design Initiative at Dartmouth.