Objective: Students will produce something that enhances the resilience of their community.
Tools/Materials Required: As needed
Depth of Knowledge: Extended Thinking
Teacher’s notes are in purple. For the student’s version, see Thriving Together Student Guide.
Prepare: Learn about the key ideas in this project
This project draws from United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11, which aims to make cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Learn more about UN SDG 11 here.
There are many Big Ideas mentioned in Sustainable Development Goal 11. This project focuses on one of those Big Ideas: community resilience. Community resilience involves people in the community working together to build connections and address shared challenges. Explore resources on community resilience from RAND, 100 Resilient Cities and the Post Carbon Institute.
Before starting this challenge, explore the Big Idea with a few guiding questions below:
- What is a community?
- Who is part of your community?
- What could you create to make your community better?
- What is resilience?
- What challenges has your community faced in the past and how did your community address those challenges?
- What challenges does your community currently face?
- What could you create to address the challenges your community faces?
The goal of this project is to create something that enhances the resilience of your community. This could mean creating something that strengthens community ties, creating something that helps your community adapt and thrive, and/or creating something that helps people work together to address a challenge shared by the community.
You can design anything–a product or device, a tool or a service, an initiative or campaign, a system, or even a physical space or environment. Below are just a few ideas:
- You might create something that enhances the wellbeing and connectedness of people in your community, such as a kindness campaign, creative placemaking, or a service initiative.
- You might create a way for people to easily find important resources in your community, such as through asset mapping.
- You might create a way for people in your community to efficiently share critical information, such as through crowdmapping.
- You might create a way for people to learn skills that would benefit the community, such as through a reskilling initiative.
- You might create something that relieves, prevents, or predicts the impact of an environmental event faced by your community.
Have students consider how their ideas could be impactful across the community they have chosen. Projects can pertain to any domain — technology, the environment, arts and culture, public health and safety, the economy, infrastructure, community-building, and much more.
Practice: Try as many activities to as you would like to build your skills
Practice Design Thinking
Observe the people and systems in your community in the thinking routine Parts, People, Interactions. Practice the Imagine If thinking routine to brainstorm ways you could improve systems, objects, and places in your community.
What are the needs, challenges, and opportunities in your community? Try interviewing people in your community to discover opportunities with the project What Makes You Happy?. As you discover challenges faced in your community, dig deeper with the Five Whys activity and the Problem Tree project to determine the cause of the challenge and how it could be addressed.
Think about what you want to design. What skills will you need to complete it? Go out and build the skills you will need to bring your ideas to life. Below are just a few suggestions:
- If you would like to use data in your design, get started with the Data Hunting project. If you’d like to create a visualization for your data set, practice with the Data to Make a Difference project.
- If you would like to create a simulation, practice making a digital recreation of the real world with the Make it Digital! project. If you’d like to make your simulation interactive, practice the Interactive Imagination project.
- If you would like to create a product or device, practice TinkerCad to design and print your creation. If you have not used Tinkercad before, learn how to use it by doing the Custom Cookie Cutter project. You can also practice 3D design with the Toy Workshop project. (If you would like your product or device to be interactive, practice creating it with a Makey Makey in the Sound Machine project.)
- If you would like to design a physical space or environment, practice with the Redesign a Common Space project.
- If you would like to create a service, initiative, or campaign, practice telling the story of your idea with the Moving Pictures project.
These are just a few suggestions among endless possibilities. Brainstorm what your project could be and gather the necessary resources to help you complete it.
Produce: Dig into the project and make it your own!
How might we contribute to the resilience of our local community?
Remember to consider how your design strengthens community ties, helps your community adapt and thrive, and/or helps people work together to address a challenge shared by the community.
You can design anything–a product or device, a tool or a service, an initiative or campaign, a system, or even a physical space or environment. Your project can also pertain to any domain–whether technology, the environment, arts and culture, public health and safety, the economy, infrastructure, community-building, and much more.
As you create your design, be sure to test it with users in your community to get their feedback and insights.
Produced by Digital Promise Global, with thanks to the Open Educational Resources listed throughout this guide. Distributed to Learning Studios schools as part of HP, Inc. and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share this project or modified versions of it under this same license.