At Nueva School in Hillsborough, Calif., design thinking is part of the curriculum for all students in grades K-8. For example, fourth-graders were asked to design new LED lamps based on which of their family members they observed needing a new light source. The projects weave together many goals of the Common Core State Standards and incorporate service to others, says Kim Saxe, director of Nueva's iLab. "Our faculty loved that design thinking increased student empathy. We always have them designing for a classmate or someone in the community rather than just themselves," Saxe said.

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