DesignFest 2019

Caring for Our Planet Through Design-Thinking

DesignFest is a multi-part school-wide learning event, harnessing a design-thinking framework to create innovative solutions to challenges all around us. The DesignFest 2019 theme is “Making a World of Difference: Caring for Our Planet.” As its name suggests, students will study pressing issues in waste, water, and wildlife in order to find their voices as global citizens and affect positive change.


Event Details

Educational collaborators:

  • Feb. 22 - Nicole Korensky from David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust speaks to chapel assemblies about endangered animals
  • Feb. 27 - Mary Priddy from City of Austin's Office of Sustainability speaks to chapel assemblies about recycling
  • March 11 - Mark Gerhardstein from Travis County Beekeepers Association speaks with 6th grade about bees
  • March 13 - Cindy Loeffler from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation speaks with 5th and 7th grades about water


  • Mon., March 11 (8:00 - 8:50) - Empathy research: Design thinking process begins in the classrooms with background research and empathy-building. 
  • Wed., March 13 (8:00 - 8:50) - Focus and Brainstorm: Identify meaningful problems to solve and brainstorm possible solutions.
  • Fri., March 15 (full day) -  "Making" it Happen: Culminating day of hands-on prototyping and celebration.
    • 8:00 - All-school assembly
      • Classroom ambassadors announce grade-level challenges
      • Special guest: Eduardo Bone, Environmental Defense Fund
      • Special guest: Nigel Prentice, IBM Design
    • 9:00 - 12:00 - Prototyping in classrooms across campus. D-Lab "Fabrication Stations" and "Marketplaces" manned by staff and parent volunteers.  
    • 11:00 - Informal classroom visitations from Andrew Dobbs, Texas Campaign for the Environment
    • 11:00 - 1:05 Regular lunch rotations (with optional lunch conversation at 12:20 with Andrew Dobbs for 5th-8th graders in the CLC)
    • 1:10 - Interactive musical experience with The Peterson Farm Brothers
    • 2:00  - Student work on display in commons areas 
DesignFest 2019 poster

Design Challenges

"How might we....?"

  • K/8th grade:  ...reduce materials waste in Trinity classrooms?
  • 1st grade:   ...reduce plastic waste across campus?
  • 2nd grade:  ... reduce food waste in the dining hall?
  • 3rd grade:  ... protect the animal kingdom?
  • 4th grade:  ... protect our oceans?
  • 5th grade:  ... protect freshwater sources?
  • 6th grade: ... save bees and aid plant pollination?
  • 7th grades:  ...  increase access to clean water?

Volunteer Opportunities

Please email if you are interested in volunteering on Friday, March 15th, in either of our D-Lab "fabrication stations" or recycled materials "marketplaces" or in another capacity. Please let us know your interests and available times and we will match you where you're most needed.