Design Thinking (Teachers IN Industry) (Course # 19CR0610)

Date(s): 6/10/2019, 6/11/2019, 6/12/2019, 6/13/2019, 6/17/2019, 6/18/2019, 6/19/2019, 6/20/2019 
Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Alternative Dates: June 17-21, 24-26 if state waiver of snow days not approved.


Registration open through 5/3/2019 6:00 AM EST


35 seats currently available.



The registration period has closed for this event.


Course Description

Space is very limited (only 15-20 spots), so sign-up now!

(NOTE: Actual participants will be selected from the pool of registrants. Participants selected will be notified in early May. Dates are subject to change based on make-up days required by districts due to snow day closings. Also NOTE: This program is open to Kent County teachers only.)

Seize an exciting opportunity to see the content you teach implemented in a real-world setting. Plus, discover some REAL problems these companies face and the tactics they use to solve them. We'll help you transfer these same problem-solving practices into your classroom so you can create hands-on, problem-based lessons tied to actual industry examples.


·        NOTE: Though not a requirement, teachers are encouraged to apply with a colleague or friend!

In this multi-part program you will:

  • LEARN to implement curriculum from a Design Thinking framework (and explore similarities/differences with PBL)
  • DISCOVER connections between the content you teach and your students' future careers
  • PRACTICE what you learn by implementing D.T. in an industry setting as we work with REAL employers to solve REAL problems
  • DEMONSTRATE competency by using Design Thinking in a kids camp during this program (to gain comfort/confidence)
  • EMBRACE the opportunity for coaching & assistance this fall as you implement what you learn in the program

Conclude the program coaching your students, as they put these principles to work in actual team competitions. They'll present solutions to real industry problems for the chance to win valuable cash prizes!

Bonus! You'll receive a $2,000 stipend for completing the program!


  • Who: This PD is for all 5th - 8th grade Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Math and STEM classroom teachers
  • When: Initial PD & Training (SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON SNOW MAKE-UP DAYS): June 10-13 and 17-20 (8 days), with fall coaching/lessons culminating in a end-of-semester competition. BACK-UP DATES: June 17-21 and 24-26
  • Where: Training location: most dates at Kent ISD, with some 'offsite' days at local employers


This experience will open your eyes and expand your thinking, plus give you ideas for providing relevant, “real world” experiences for your students! Here's what you can expect in this action-packed program:


  • Spend 2 days learning the Design Thinking process by DOING; do a Rapid Cycle Design Challenge, then apply what you've learned in a bigger project with your colleagues
  • Spend 2 days touring local companies to see how Design Thinking is applied in business, plus problem-solve some challenges these companies face
  • Hone your D.T. skills and apply what you learned through facilitating & mentoring a group of elementary STEM campers to solve a problem - D.T. style


  • Take what you learned through the program back to your classroom and implement the process with your own students through problem-centric challenges of your design
  • Coach your students as they use business-approved Design Thinking to develop solutions to a real l issues faced by local businesses or school communities
  • Cheer them on as they present their solutions and compete for cash in a challenging competition


Businesses want students to be equipped with more “21st century” soft (or employability) skills, including ability to work in teams, use Design Thinking and have strong communication and collaboration skills. With the knowledge you'll gain, and the lessons you'll create following this experience, your students will be a step ahead and on their way to being career ready, and they'll have tons of fun getting there!



Eric Kelliher; Gerry Verwey

Eric Kelliher, Career Readiness Consultant at Kent ISD, works with local educators to integrate career exploration, planning and thinking into instruction. From helping teachers integrate soft skills into lesson plans, to speaking to classrooms and at conferences, to running programs like Teachers in Industry, Classroom to Careers and others, Eric seeks to make career thinking an integral part of the learning experience. His prior experience includes 6 years in the classroom teaching Language Arts and Physical Education, 4 years as a K-12 Technology trainer, 3 years in Higher Education, and several years in the corporate world, first in Banking, later as a Leadership Development trainer at Meijer’s corporate headquarters.

Gerry Verwey serves as a Career Readiness Consultant, STEM Consultant, and program director for a new teacher mentorship program at Kent ISD.  In his role as a Career Readiness Consultant, Gerry works with local educators to integrate career exploration and soft skills into their classrooms.  As a STEM Consultant, he provides STEM curriculum training, development, and implementation services for K-12 educators.  Gerry was a science teacher for 16 years, most recently at Kent Innovation High. He has been nominated for the Michigan Teacher of the Year, Michigan Science Teacher of the Year, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science.

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Course Cost

There is no cost to attend.

Credit Information

Course: Hours - 56

SCECHs- 6-48



Kent ISD - KIH, Parking Lot #3

1655 East Beltline, N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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