How would you create a utensil that sucks up clouds? What would it look like? How would it work? This is the challenge Applying Stage students at The Intergenerational School were tasked to solve and they rose to the occasion!

Students learned the foundational practices of design and presented their “cloud suckers” to their classmates through the Diversify by Design (DxD) initiative. This effort focuses on collaborating with DxD’s youth program partners to launch Design=, an experiential learning initiative focused on introducing design to youth from underrepresented backgrounds.

The workshop was led by Jacinda Walker, Founder and Creative Director of designExplorr. She spent the morning teaching students how design impacts their world and empowering them to create innovative solutions. During the second half of the workshop, students worked in teams to create and present their cloud sucking utensil. They designed inventions such as the Sonic Cloud Jet Sucker, which detects and synthesizes clouds to transform them into water and the Tank Sucker 3000 which shoots rockets up to the clouds, takes them through tubes, and creates cotton candy.

“It was wonderful meeting The Intergenerational School – East students and staff for the Design= Creativity workshop. What an awesome group of young people. This is truly a special place of learning and creativity. I am looking forward to hosting more design programs that teach the students about the power of design.”

Jacinda Walker, Founder and Creative Director of designExplorr

Although this project has been shared with several schools throughout Cleveland, TIS-East was the only school to have the opportunity to work directly with Amazon design professional, Jessie Andrade. She is employed at Amazon in Columbus as a Service and Experience Designer. (Amazon has joined the DxD as a foundational sponsor)

Overall, students enjoyed their time with Ms. Walker and Ms. Andrade. “It was a fun activity if you are into designing…we definitely want to do more before we graduate, specifically with Ms. Jacinda and Ms. Jessie.” – Taylor, Ryan, Sayge Fiona and Olivia Applying Stage students at TIS-East

A core piece of the Intergenerational Schools educational model is providing opportunities to participate in engaged learning. Students learn best when they are excited by the lessons, can be actively curious, and learn alongside other individuals. If you are interested in sharing a passion, hobby, or interest with Intergenerational students, please contact Director of Education, Molly Toussant.