My thesis is a toolkit to teach young people (6-12) grade design for social change/public interest. It is a time-based, self-guided, flexible set of projects with an accompanying online network and portfolio. It will be a consumer product that can be purchased for a young person by a parent or family member for use in the home, or for a group of learners in an educational or community setting.

Each day is comprised of three elements, “Take Action”, “Let’s Learn About”, and “Try This.” Take Action is a kind of thesis, a project that the learner/user will develop throughout the course of the kit. The kit guides the learner in observing an issue and solving it though design. Let’s Learn About is a text and resources to learn about a particular social issue such as discrimination or food access. Try This teaches the basic elements and principles of design, as well as practical applications and contemporary knowledge on the topic.

The learner will integrate what social issue they learn about with the design lesson piece, to practice and apply skills. In theory, upon completion, the learner will have a portfolio of small pieces that demonstrate a knowledge of social issues as well as a development of design and graphic skills and thinking.

My goal is to show the accessibility and openness of design, as well as to show young people that design is a tool of social change that they can harness. I hope to allow young people to take ownership of their own learning experiences, fostering self-efficacy and leadership skills.