Sixth graders design an improved school bus

Throughout September the Middle School creative design class worked in small groups on a design for a very important space in their lives… the interior of a school bus.

This project especially focused on the research and empathy-building part of the design cycle as the students interviewed volunteers role-playing as bus riders, drivers, and transportation managers about their needs. Through these interviews, the students were able to realize that different stakeholders had different perspectives on what is important to them during a bus ride. This encouraged students to think outside of their own personal feelings as middle school bus riders and consider the experiences of riders of different ages, drivers, coordinators and other people affected.

Students then used this information to prototype solutions to the issues they identified using basic building materials. On the final day of the project, the groups presented their prototypes and explained how they had incorporated the feedback from their interviews into possible solutions. Students proposed ideas ranging from wireless communication headsets for the bus drivers to tray tables and germ-resistant fabric for the bus seats. (Taryn Loveman, Glenn Hoskins, Jim Erwin, and Milan Claudio, MS teachers)