Join a growing movement of innovators harnessing emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning.
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Thursday, October 3 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Designing Design Experiences

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Design, Disrupt and Don't Forget to Play!
Rosanna Lopez

The idea behind the workshop is simple: We ask ourselves how parents, educators, youth facilitators and development practitioners can harness the power of play and games to inspire young people to create positive change in their communities and equip them with the skills to do so.

Utilizing SparkleLAB’s Gamemakers curriculum as our starting point, workshop participants are invited to play, explore possibility and design experiences where young people are given opportunities to immerse themselves in emerging technologies, understand their affordances, define problems and develop projects of impact.

SportsLab – an Online Platform for Connected Learning
James L Larsen, Teon Edwards, Elizabeth Rowe

During the 2018-19 school year, almost a thousand students from thirty middle school classrooms across the US participated in the SportsLab Parkour Shoe Design Challenge, a competition created and hosted on the SportsLab online platform for project-based learning. The competition featured a series of milestones and missions, set in a virtual environment, that provided a storyline and background on sport research, shoe design, and design thinking all connected with real-world activities that encouraged STEM, 21st Century Skills, ICT learning, and career awareness. Working with a mentor, 282 teams of students made their way through the missions, creating deliverables for each milestone to exhibit their understanding of content, concepts, and skills. The challenge culminated in each team creating and submitting a set of Final Deliverables—an Inspiration Board and Project Pitch—that were judged by experts in sports research, parkour, and education. The top five design teams received a prize from Nike.

The SportsLab online platform, developed with a National Science Foundation award (DRL-1311901) and a partnership with the Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL), is configurable through an easily customizable, Unity-based backend to support the creation and hosting of such competitions, offering both online and real-world learning experiences. Ultimately, we hope to extend the use of the platform through industry and educational partnerships, hosting design challenges grounded in other sport products and relevant themes, like sustainability, that are open to learners in both formal and informal learning spaces. By leveraging students’ real-world interests, SportsLab competitions can foster abilities, interest, and engagement.

What Is a STEAM + Design Thinking Activity? Designing Wearable Technology Accessories
Rie Kijima, Kathy Sun

Are you interested in increasing girls’ interest in STEAM? Come see how design thinking can be used as a tool to inspire girls towards STEAM fields. In this session participants will engage in an immersive design thinking experience that we facilitated with three cohorts of middle school girls. We will actively engage in the various stages of design thinking (e.g., empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test) to design a specific product for a particular user. Through engagement in and reflection on this activity, participants will gain understanding for why design thinking activities have the potential to increase girls’ interests in STEAM.

Designing Tools and Social Practices to Engage Families in a Learning Ecology to Increase STEM Participation Among Middle School Girls
Evelyn Flores, Nichole Pinkard, Denise C Nacu, Sheena Erete, Bo Ju

As part of a larger effort to broaden participation of underrepresented middle-school aged youth in computing in one mid-sized city, we have been engaged in building a community of parents and caring adults in support of girls’ participation in STEM. This work is centered on Digital Youth Divas (DYD), an out-of-school program that engages middle school girls in design-based engineering and computer science activities driven by a narrative story. In this presentation, we will highlight the design and rationale for tools and social practices intended to involve parents in the STEM learning experiences of their youth. Specifically, we’ll share details about the EL3 Parent Dashboard, and strategies we have used to encourage parents to learn about and reflect on their daughter’s interests, skills, and activities. We will share insights that have driven our design decisions and present ideas and considerations for others who are engaged in community-based work to involve parents and families.


Kathy Sun

Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University

Evelyn Flores

Northwestern University
avatar for James L Larsen

James L Larsen

I'm interested in leveraging games and play to get people outside or to better connect people to real world experiences. My projects include STEMlandia XR, SportsLab, and Mission to Europa (a VR mystery).
avatar for Denise C Nacu

Denise C Nacu

Assistant Professor, DePaul University

Rie Kijima

Stanford Graduate School of Education
avatar for Rosanna Lopez

Rosanna Lopez

Founder & President, SparkleLAB Design & Innovation Hub
Makerspaces for kids and teensCritical making, youth developmentSchool of the futureReimagining learning in the global south

Thursday October 3, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm PDT
Doheny Beach A 311 Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA, 92697