Design the Future is a 6-day, fully immersive design thinking summer program. It partners teams of high school students with an individual living with a physical disability. Over the course of the program, students learn about disability and are taught to design solutions to real problems faced by their Project Partner. The program exposes high school students to real-world challenges; gives them a hands-on STEM education through the use of laser cutters, 3d printers, and other tools; and teaches them mindsets around conflict resolution and self-improvement. At the end of the program, each student group presents its final design and high-resolution prototype during a Project Partner and family attended presentation.

Design the Future was created by DC Design in 2015 and will launch in your city in 2019. Students receive design and manufacturing mentorship from the Lead Facilitators (head of the program), Coaches (university students or recent alums), and Project Partners (individuals living with disabilities who are passionate about mentorship).

Lead Facilitators run the show. The Tech Lead Facilitator (TLF) is a key part of the two-person leadership team, in charge of all portions of mentorship and execution involving materials, shop, makerspace skills, or engineering. She or he is a practiced teacher who is organized, relationship-minded, and adept at handling new situations. (Experience in Design Thinking is a plus.) A Design Lead Facilitator will also be hired to act as liaison with DC Design and ensure everything is running smoothly.

The Tech Lead Facilitator will act in partnership with the Design Lead Facilitator, supporting on-the-ground operations, keeping the schedule, and coordinating with the makerspace, Project Partners, Coaches, and university. The Tech Lead Facilitator’s main goal is to teach students the maker side of design, help them produce the best product solutions possible, and above all, ensure all students and staff remain safe in their use of tools. The TFL will evaluate student designs and help students and Coaches, who sometimes do not have engineering or design background, to improve the products they are building (while allowing them to fail cheerfully and learn from failure). During the program, Lead Facilitators teach modules, ensure designs are on track, manage material availability, guide students through sticking points in their design and manufacturing process, and help the Design Lead Facilitator handle interpersonal situations that arise. Before the camp, the Design Lead Facilitator schedules and executes a training with the Coaches, and the Tech Lead will be expected to attend and support with limited lead-up logistics.  Lead Facilitators will be flown to California for a training in the first half of 2019.

The Tech Lead Facilitator will have the following responsibilities, among others:

  • Teach students the maker side of design, evaluate their designs, and help them produce the best product solutions possible

  • Ensure all students and staff remain safe in their use of tools and the makerspace

  • Manage material availability

  • Support in ensuring the program’s many moving pieces are  in alignment during the program and keeping the day-to-day schedule

  • Calmly and responsibly manage conflict, crises, and other situations that arise

  • Collaborate with the Design Lead Facilitator on decisions and responsibilities ahead of and during the program

  • Remain consistently communicative with Design Lead Facilitator and DC Design

  • Support in coordinating with Project Partners during the program

  • Attend the Coaches Training

  • Get to know the Coaches and ensure they’re supported

  • Fill in for any Coaches who get sick or cannot attend during the program

  • Keep up the energy for the coaching team (6-12 Coaches + Tech Lead Facilitator) and students (30-60)

  • Keep long hours including preparation for next day, home depot runs, and clean up

  • Complete 3-day training in California in winter or spring of 2019