If you counted design as one of the subjects you were taught at some point between kindergarten and your senior year of high school, consider yourself very lucky. Like most people, I didn't receive a design education until I got to college. But thanks to a generous sponsorship from Target, the Cooper-Hewitt is bringing hands-on design to NYC students in grades K-12.
The program gets kids to think about design as an active part of their daily lives, to understand that design is all around them, that their shoes, their binders and their Metro cards have all been designed. There are design challenges tailor-made for each grade level, so while kindergartners are trying to figure out how to transport apples up a hill, 8th grades are working on how to keep a premature baby warm and safe in a rural village without electricity. These challenges aim to teach students how the design process is a creative method of problem solving that can be applied in almost any situation - a factor teachers are hoping will help with standardized testing.
If you're an educator, register your school.