Six resources to get students thinking strategically

It’s September, which means it’s time not only for pumpkin-spiced everything, but also … it’s International Strategic Thinking Month! Of course, here at The Tech Interactive, we recognize the importance of strategic thinking year-round, but we’re always down to celebrate brain power, so let’s dive into some of our favorite lessons!

We’ve found that students often do their best strategic thinking when tackling one of our Systems Design Challenges. These challenges present learners with a real-world problem, like delivering a vaccine to a remote area or determining the viability of a new green tech product in their local community. Their decisions have lots of ripple effects because they’re part of a complex system. Students examine all the intricate parts of that problem as they design potential solutions.

Check out some of our systems design resources below and start incorporating them into your classroom:

1. Connecting with Climate

Explore how to problem-solve when approaching large-scale, multidimensional issues like climate change.

Lesson plan

2. Emerging Tech

Examine environmental issues through the lens of four emerging technologies then consider the challenges these technologies might face if they were adopted in your own community. Working in teams, students will develop both a potential solution and a pitch to address possible challenges.

Lesson plan

3. Data Challenge

Analyze how innovators like our Tech for Global Good laureates use data as a tool to solve problems and effect change. Students will then work in groups to create a plan for collecting and using data to address a problem in their own sphere of influence.

Lesson plan

4. Vaccine Distribution Challenge

Consider the complexities of infrastructure, public health and sociocultural landscapes in designing a solution to distribute a life saving vaccine.

Lesson plan

5. Save the Species Challenge

Develop a solution that assists governments in protecting species in designated areas.

Lesson plan


Student booklets: Sharks, Orangutans, Black Rhinos, and Red Knots

6. Tech for Global Good

Inspire students with videos and lesson plans developed in partnership with Discovery Education. These resources celebrate innovators using technology to tackle the world’s biggest problems such as clean water, health inequity and climate change.

By the end of a systems design challenge, students are able to articulate a potential solution, the real-world problem it addresses, and the effects their idea might have on other components of that larger system.

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