The University of Washington's Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering regularly works with regional K-12 schools on activities designed to engage pre-college students and their teachers in the field of human-centered design.
Our outreach activities include conducting user-centered design workshops in high school and middle school classrooms, hosting students for workshops on the University of Washington campus, and professional development for teachers. Andrew Davidson, Associate Teaching Professor in HCDE leads this effort.
If you are interested in learning more, contact HCDE Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ongoing outreach efforts
For the past few years, HCDE has been using a design thinking activity known as a Charette as a way to introduce students to the user-centered design (UCD) process. In the "UCD Charrette," students are given a particular design space to explore (such as user interfaces for a website, mobile app, or a physical device). In a very short period of time (two hours or less), working in small groups, they brainstorm user needs, develop use-case scenarios, and create interaction designs for an application. HCDE has run these participatory workshops with students at various educational levels, middle school, high school, and with K-12 teachers. We have found that K-12 students respond to this activity favorably, not just for the style and content of the workshop (“I designed an app!”), but also for the chance to have natural interactions with college students, who can be wonderful ambassadors and mentors.
Engineering Discovery Days
Every April, elementary through high school students explore interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and UW labs. High school students and families learn about admissions, financial aid, engineering programs, and university life. More »
High-achieving Washington high school students can apply to live on campus with UW Math Academy, an intensive, four-week summer session. Students prepare for college-level math and engineering in a supportive, challenging, and fun learning community. More »
Alternative Spring Break
In partnership with the University of Washington's Pipeline Project, HCDE organizes students to participate in an Alternative Spring Break experience, bringing Human Centered Design & Engineering workshops to rural communities in Washington state. View a video about the inaugural HCDE Alternative Spring Break, and read the team's blog here »
Computing Open House
Held annually in fall or winter quarter, students and faculty from UW's computing majors present hands-on activities illustrating the broad range of problems computing can address. More »
HCDE outreach videos
HCDE outreach articles
Human-Centered Design Charettes for K-12 Outreach, article by Elena Agapie and Andrew Davidson, Interactions
The State of K–12 HCDE Outreach in the Design Charrette Program, article by 2020 HCDE K-12 Outreach Research Team