Design thinking to foster creative problem-solving in STEM classrooms

Press Office: d-school

Registrations now open for Design Thinking in STEM Programme

The Design Thinking in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is a new innovative collaborative project between Siemens Stiftung and Africa’s first design thinking school, the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town (d-school). This six-week programme aimed at fostering creative problem solving in STEM classrooms, offers educators in STEM the opportunity to learn design thinking methodologies.

The programme is fully subsidised for STEM educators and is run as a series of multi-day workshops commencing on 23 October to 27 November 2021. Participants will be introduced to the basic principles of design thinking with the aim of capacitating educators to adapt the thinking approach into their STEM classrooms while tackling the challenges connected to the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Goals (WEF SEG’s).

On the teaching method’s potential Christine Niewöhner, Senior Project Manager of Education at Siemens Stiftung says: “The Design Thinking in STEM project aims to support schools and educators in South Africa with a holistic, design-based approach to nurturing the creative potential in students while preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century.”

“Educators for STEM subjects face the unique challenge of presenting broad and complex subject matter to their students in a way that is accessible and relevant for their everyday lives,” says Niewöhner.

Richard Perez, d-school founding director adds that Design Thinking in a STEM classroom can help ground abstract and overwhelming topics, making them tangible and engaging. It will bring students voices and lives into the STEM classroom, unlocking their creative potential in a more impactful and collaborative way.

Perez explains further, “this thinking approach helps students break down complex, real-world problems and then discover innovative solutions that address the needs and struggles of specific people. This makes it a flexible tool for the classroom that can be adapted to work in parallel with the STEM curriculum while encouraging thinking across subject streams for both students and teachers.”

“The programme supports teachers to bring a human centeredness into STEM subjects through design thinking, which is a structured, team-based approach to problem solving,” he concludes.


Register here to ensure your seat on the upcoming Design Thinking in STEM programme.

The dates for the blended programme are as follows:

Benefits for educators:

  • An introduction to and practical training in Design Thinking
  • Experience a student-centred approach to Education for Sustainable Development
  • The opportunity to collaborate with peers
  • A certificate of participation
  • Ideas and templates to use in the classroom
  • Membership in a developing design-led community of practice
  • Catering is provided for all face to face workshops

For more information, please contact [email protected]