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Innovative Hands-On Learning

Innovation & Design

A complex world demands nimble thinking. We teach students how to adapt to uncertainty and develop tangible solutions.

Future Skills

How can we thrive in an ever-changing world? By turning innovation into daily practice. In the Innovation + Design program students realize new solutions to problems through creative thought and collaboration. Simply put, great ideas don’t just fall from the sky. Effective innovations are the result of careful work. This course uses a collaborative process and project-based curriculum to teach students how to identify unmet needs in the world around them and design effective solutions.

Northwood School students start with independent research and use class sessions to identify potential projects. They then learn methods of evaluating existing research and information, conceive solutions, test them through prototypes, and ultimately develop innovations that take action to resolve real-world problems. With help from visiting experts, students also learn how design can lead to entrepreneurial opportunities. This program gives dreamers and makers the skills to bring their ideas from concept to reality.

Hands-on Solutions

Students drive the process. They identify problems, use tools and computer programs to develop prototypes, and craft proven solutions. A dedicated, custom-built classroom houses the Innovation + Design lab, providing a space where students become leaders and navigate problem solving as a team. Students become comfortable with the unknown, adept at turning research into insight, and develop resilience as they transform nebulous ideas into designs that improve daily life.

Real-world solutions from our Northwood student lab:

  • Created a promotional video that explains Innovation + Design.
  • Designed workflow and storage solutions for the classroom.
  • Developed an online portfolio to share student work.
  • Built an adaptive steering device for drivers with limited hand mobility.

For an inside look at the Innovation + Design program, visit to explore student projects and the processes behind them AND enjoy the video below made by students in the Innovation + Design program

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