News Release

  6500 East Arapahoe Road, Boulder, CO 80301

For Immediate Release

​Brent Caldwell - 303-845-0611 /
Principal of Heatherwood Elementary School

BVSD Communications - 720-561-5824


Family Design Thinking Challenge Night at Heatherwood Elementary in Boulder

An action-packed evening of problem solving and design challenges

​Balancing marshmallows on sticks of spaghetti. Flying paper to land on targets up high, far away and around a corner. Figuring out what worked and what didn't and trying again.

These are a few of the ways students at Heatherwood Elementary have been learning how to creatively design and problem solve when presented with tricky challenges.

The students will be sharing the fun with their families at the school's first ever

Family Design Thinking Challenge Night

Thursday, April 7, 5:15-7 p.m.

Heatherwood Elementary School

7750 Concord Drive, Boulder 80301

* Media are welcome to attend! *

This event will be a fun, action-packed evening where families will learn more about the Design Thinking work that is happening at Heatherwood and will be solving problems that utilize the design principles of empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing.


The students have been engaging in this work for several weeks through hands on innovation that provides them with memorable experiences of how design and problem solving are a constant cycle of empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing, then using the testing feedback to design a better prototype.

Examples of design challenges students have undertaken in the past few weeks include:

Marshmallow Challenge
Build a structure out of spaghetti, masking tape and string that can support a marshmallow.

Groups of four students were given 18 minutes to design and build. This activity required several design principles as well as collaboration and teamwork.

Flying Paper
Design a flying piece of paper that can be strategically landed on a high target, a distant target, and a target placed around a corner.

Teams of students designed a variety of paper airplanes and other creative solutions to attempt to hit all three targets.

In a recent activity, teachers led a guided reflection about what has been learned through the various challenges and what worked well. Students then had another chance to design their spaghetti structure to support a marshmallow. Most groups experienced success and progress the second time through.

"The valuable lesson about accepting feedback and using it to become better is an important life skill in all areas," said Brent Caldwell, principal of Heatherwood Elementary School.

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