Course Syllabus

Teacher: Ms. DeGrace                   Course: Makerspace & Design Thinking

The Cook and the Chef: Musk's Secret Sauce — Wait But Why

Source: Urban, T. (2016). The Cook and the Chef: Musk's Secret Sauce. Retrieved from:

Course Overview:

This course provides students with an in-depth overview of how to use various digital devices to create solutions for real-world problems using the design thinking model developed at Stanford University. Design Thinking is a method practiced by innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business. Design Thinking helps innovators in the process of questioning problems, assumptions, and implications. Design Thinking is extremely useful in tackling problems that are ill-defined or unknown, by re-framing the problem in people-centric ways, creating many ideas by brainstorming, and adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing. Students will have the opportunity to learn to use a laser cutter, 3-D printers, vinyl cutters, a CNC router, and the corresponding software. Projects are documented in an online portfolio that can be referenced in resumes and college applications.


Successful Learning

Whether we are full-time, hybrid, or remote, being a successful learner depends upon how the student approaches in-class and out-of-class situations. To start, the student should show up for class on time and ready to learn, should be willing to participate in class discussion and ask questions. They should do their best to keep up with homework assignments and be prepared to come to class ready to engage in discussions and critical thinking with their peers. Students should prepare questions about aspects of the material they did not understand, and should be willing to seek extra help when necessary. 



Over the course of the semester we will be working together to learn about the design thinking process (Empathize, Design, Ideate, Prototype, Test, Iterate). We will be applying this process to real world problems that students will bring to class and working together to try to find solutions to the problems of their choosing. Students will be exposed to and have the opportunity to work with technologies such as the 3D printer, laser cutter, and vinyl cutter. Students will work individually and in small groups to apply design thinking process to a problem of their choosing and create physical products that can be tested and modeled. 


Assessing Progress

Students will be assessed in a variety of ways in the course. In addition to a midterm essay and final project (applying the the design thinking process to a problem of their choosing and creating a physical product), students will be assessed based on their preparedness coming into class as well as participation throughout the semester. They will also be assessed on in-class and out-of-class writing assignments, ranging from brief paragraphs to papers and blog-style postings. Students will be given feedback and opportunities to improve upon their work throughout the semester.


Class/Homework/Make Up Policy

I encourage students to do all work completely and to the best of their ability. Canvas will be updated with the latest assignments and materials for each class. This will allow students to review the day's materials and what is expected of them before the next class meets. Students can email me with any questions or to keep me updated on their status if they have to miss class. I encourage students to make up work that they miss or to reach out if they feel too far behind so that we can work together to find a solution. 


Additional Information

I actively encourage students to seek extra help whenever they are falling behind. I am available via email and am happy to find a time to meet in person or via Zoom/Google Meet if students ask. I also encourage students to reach out to me if they have ideas or topics that they would like to address in this class as the design thinking model encourage innovation, collaboration, and thinking outside the box. I can be contacted as

Course Summary:

Date Details Due