Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Fostering an Environmentally Sustainable Mindset With the Design Squad

PBS's Design Squad has always been a go-to for me, as I've shared before. Their design process cycle graphic is the center of what we use to teach our elementary students when it comes to maker activities or STEAM challenges.

Again I turn to them and their website is certainly worth checking out during this season of remote learning.

There's a wealth of videos at Design Squad YouTube Channel. One of my favorites here is their 3 minute video on Environmental Sustainability. Not only does it promote innovation and invention, but it also promotes having an environmentally sustainable mindset. This mindset takes a growth mindset, layers it with an innovation and design mindset, but it also factors in looking at materials and energy sources with a lens of how best to promote caring about the Earth. Perfect while energized from Earth Day!

Here are some other cool Design Squad resources to check out which inspire an environmentally sustainable mindset:

  • This Week's Wow: Smart Soap (which features the hand soap company Forgo)
  • Design Squad Global for Parents & Educators--here they have a bounty of hands-on activities & videos for schools and after school programs including their Design Squad Global Clubs. These 6-12 week clubs are created for middle schoolers. Some of the gems here include:
    • Activities & Videos on the following subjects:
      • Electricity
      • Force/Energy
      • Green
      • Health/Improving Lives
      • Simple Machines
      • Sound/Music
      • Space/Transportation
      • Sports/Games
      • Structures
      • Technology/Materials
    • Lesson plans on the following:
      • Electricity & Circuits
      • Engineering Design Process
      • Green Design
      • Helping Others
      • Simple Machines
      • Structures
    • Training for teachers & club leaders

Video from, design process graphic from, screen shot from

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