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design lab teacher professional development

Teacher Professional Development

The Design Lab offers teacher development opportunities for educators interested in bringing design thinking into their classrooms. As this program grows, we plan to offer programs both in education about design and education through design. We will be gathering feedback from teacher professional development workshop participants to determine future offerings. These workshops are intended to guide teachers in developing hands-on lessons that use the design process to engage students in lasting learning that meets curricular standards in any subject area. Teachers in all grade levels and academic areas of study are welcome and encouraged to attend. Certificates of participation will be provided for teachers seeking Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Past Teacher Professional Development Programs

Future Focus Summit

Educators joined the Design Lab on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. for the first Future Focus Summit. This FREE event was hosted at NC State College of Design especially for teachers, school counselors, career development coordinators, and other educators to engage with faculty and staff at the College of Design.

Why are we calling it the “Future Focus Summit”?

  • We at the College of Design want to connect with our future students and their current educators
  • Teachers and School Counselors want to know about college and career options their students can pursue for their future
  • Study in Design embodies the mastery of all 21st Century Skills and prepares students for careers in which they will solve problems of the future.

How do we best prepare our students for the unknown challenges of the future? We can prepare them to be agile creators, innovators and problem-solvers through Design education! The Design Lab and College of Design want to collaborate with teachers to prepare more students for this kind of future.

The summit will include presentations by faculty members from each of the 5 major areas of study here at the College of Design, an overview of the admissions process, and a Q + A panel of faculty and staff. The Future Focus Summit will include:

  • Informative presentations from faculty in each department at the College of Design (Architecture, Art + Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Landscape Architecture), providing an overview of the different kinds of design that students can study at NC State
  • Info on career potential in each area of design – What kinds of jobs can you get with a design degree? What is a career in design like? Can you make a living as a designer?
  • Reasons why your students might want to pursue a degree in Design at NC State.
  • Ways your students can get involved while in middle school and high school and why it’s important to encourage that extracurricular learning
  • An overview of what the admissions process is like, and what is involved in getting into the College of Design
  • A Q+A panel with faculty and staff presenters, to answer questions you might have and engage in discussion on how we can support students’ futures in design.

The College of Design provided CEU certificates for those who attended in person.

Making Design Work in the Classroom

This workshop is for K-12 teachers of any subject area who want to incorporate design-based strategies and activities in their classrooms. The hands-on, three-hour session will address how design activities can contribute to the student achievement of local and national standards and assessment in a variety of disciplines. This workshop may be eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Programs + Information for Educators

Design is a skill of everyday life, so it is important that K–12 educators have access to professional development opportunities and resources that will help them bring design education and design thinking into their classrooms. The Design Lab offers professional development programming for teachers in all subject areas and grade levels. Programs typically fall into one of two categories:

  • Education about design (How might I teach my students concepts and skills they would use to become designers?)
  • Education through design (How might I teach to meet curricular standards using concepts and skills such as design thinking and the design process?)

Learning about design as a way of thinking helps students apply skills in math, science, technology, reading, writing, and communication in and out of the classroom. We aim to help teachers immerse themselves in the practice of design thinking and the design process and bring this mastery into the classroom, expanding their students’ critical and creative thinking skills. In learning to think like designers, students ready themselves with the skills needed to confidently tackle the unforeseen problems of our rapidly evolving society in the 21st century.

Field Trips

Field Trips include a tour of the campus of the College of Design and participation in a hands–on design challenge project in our on-campus Design Lab studio. This program is designed for middle and high-school groups with any level of design experience with the goal of learning to employ design thinking and the design process to develop creative solutions to a wide range of real-world problems. These field trips provide hands–on learning experiences that may be applied to a variety of subject matter upon returning to the school classroom.

Learn More 
k-12 field trips

Teacher Advisory Group (TAG)

The Teacher Advisory Group for the Design Lab for K-12 Education at NC State College of Design (TAG) advises Design Lab staff on the development, evaluation and implementation of programs for teachers and students at the Design Lab.

TAG members help connect the Design Lab to the K-12 community and opportunities for collaboration. TAG meetings are also a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas with other educators on incorporating creativity and design thinking in the classroom. This group is a wonderful network for creative teachers. TAG participants are valued members of the planning team for the Design Lab at the College of Design at NC State University.