Students Create Prototypes For Chattanooga Zoo


Recently, Bright Spark hosted a diverse group of high school students from home school, public and private schools in the greater Chattanooga region for a week-long Innovation Challenge, where students were tasked with solving a real-world problem through the application of design thinking.

How might we design zoo field trip experiences for students that inspire them to preserve the natural world?


Students learned the basics of design thinking through a 90-minute ExperienceInnovation: Aware workshop designed by an award-winning global design firm, IDEO, and design thinking innovation software, Sprintbase, featured in Forbes and used by eBay and Deloitte to apply design thinking learning into action.

The week started at the Chattanooga Zoo. Here students were able to observe, experience, and interview visitors to understand their needs, desires, and pain points with their zoo experience; an essential step in the design thinking process that surfaces trends and themes. Their observations provided the basis for the team to articulate early insights.

Day three, they headed back to the Chattanooga Zoo to get feedback on their initial prototypes and reviewed the importance of "failing early to succeed sooner." Getting users feedback and iteration lead to human-centered innovations. Students were quick to implement feedback to improve their prototypes.

The week ended with presentations of final designs to Chelsea Dale, director of education at the Chattanooga Zoo.

“As I continued throughout the week I bettered myself not only as a person but as a design thinker.” – Kyah, student

A big thanks to the participating students, their parents, and our participating sponsors ExperiencePoint, Sprintbase, and the Chattanooga Zoo for helping this challenge a success!

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Bright Spark membership offers programs to students 4th-grade through college to build design skills such as empathy, problem-solving, prototyping and experimenting to innovate new solutions through Design Thinking. 

Check out our upcoming webinar: Student Creativity = Unfiltered Innovation to learn more about how you and your students can partner with Bright Spark in building skills to impact future generations of design thinkers.