Today’s topic is Begin, which is fitting since today is the 1st of Elul and the first day of #ExploreElul! We are beginning on our Jewish STEM journey to explore ourselves and the world around us.
This first week of #ExploreElul is a short one, and our overarching theme is: Intention, or Kavanah in Hebrew. Each week we will have a new overarching theme, with daily topics that fit into its umbrella. As part of Intention week we will be using the Design Thinking Process to help in setting The JEdSTEM Initiative’s and #ExploreElul intention for the year 5781.
Design thinking is an iterative process, meaning you go through it repetitively. Using 5 key steps, the Process helps people solve complex problems.
The first 3 steps of the Design Thinking Process ask you to do a bit of thinking, figuring out what the crux of the issue is, and beginning brainstorming.
1. Empathize: Have you ever seen someone struggling and thought “I know exactly how that feels! I wish I could do something to help!” In that very moment, you have started the Design Thinking Process! You are discovering the needs that people around you have, and seeing how there is a missing piece that is causing an issue.
During this part of the Process, you are using observational skills and interviews to gain a clear understanding of the issues at hand.
2. Define: The next step asks you to narrow down exactly what the issue is. This helps to make sure later that you are brainstorming solutions that help fix the issue.
3. Ideate: Get out your pencils and paper, dust off your research skills, and grab those building materials, because it’s time to brainstorm ideas! There are no bad ideas during this step, because every little part of an idea can help lead you to the best possible solution.
That’s all for today--check out the post tomorrow for the last two steps of the Design Thinking Process and think about how we can use it to prepare our intentions for the rest of #ExploreElul.
This post is part of ExploreElul, from The JEdSTEM Initiative, a month of reflection and exploration of the intersection of Judaism and STEM.
JEdSTEM aims to develop engaged, curious, and innovative Jewish minds for the modern world.