The Design Team
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Design Lab Leads: Harlin Hansen (Instructional Technology Lead) & Sandeep Tulachan (Technology Specialist)

Harlin and Sandeep will manage the schedule, materials and equipment for the design space, as well as lead skill building lessons. Design Leads may enlist Harlin and/or Sandeep to partner teach a project based based on the specific project's equipment or instructional needs.

Administrative Support Team: The administrative team will attend design team meetings, provide communications regarding the design program and support for the continuity and quality of the program. The administrative team will also coordinate with the design team and community or parent experts.

Design Consultant 
Molly B. Zielezinski PhD has spent more than a decade teaching and researching technology, design and learning in K-12. She recently earned a PhD from Stanford in Learning Sciences & Technology Design where she spent five years working on the strategic implementation of design thinking throughout the state of Utah. In her research on this program, her team identified the profound potential of design thinking as a vehicle for authentic problem solving that promotes creative confidence and scaffolds empathy-driven solution finding.  Today, she works in partnership with schools, districts, technology companies and other organizations to support the continuous improvement of their curriculum, processes and products by introducing and amplifying a research-based approach to their work on the ground.

In Woodside, Molly brings her years of experience to the table training new teachers on the design thinking process and mindsets. She also works with the Design Leadership Team, supporting the Woodside Design Initiative by providing research-based resources, training, and professional support when and where it is needed. 

Design Lab Teacher Leaders
Design Teacher Leaders will work with their grade span teaching teams to choose or create integrated projects. In addition, they will provide support for organizing those projects, such as scheduling the design space, acquiring materials, or organizing guest experts.  

MissionTop of Page

Students will use design practices to develop their abilities in understanding others, analyzing challenges, and reflecting on their own work.

DescriptionTop of Page

Students will move through a progression of “Skill Builders” that build design skills from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Additionally, students will be involved in grade-level projects taking them through the design process: Find It, Sketch It, Build It, and Share It.  

What does the program look like for...Top of Page

Grades TK-K

In these early years, students are introduction to the design program and will begin working on the development of design skills and practices.  In this grade span, students will take part primarily in “Skill Builder” and “Tool Intro” sessions.

In the “Skill Builder” sessions students will explore different aspects of the design process and the lab. These younger students are introduced to the concepts of design including but not limited to teamwork, the Find It - Sketch It - Build It - Share It process, resiliency, and grit. Students will learn about interviewing, brainstorming, sketching, collaborating, prototyping, and testing. They will also learn how to use a variety of tools and about lab safety in the “Tool Intro” sessions.

Grades 1-5

These students become more familiar with design practices and begin to apply them to more complex projects each year. The students will work on three different projects during the year. One project will focus on learning and using the tools in the design lab in order to be independent users when they start middle school. Another project will focus on the design process to ensure that students are comfortable using this problem solving process. For the final project, the design staff works with the grade level teachers for a design project that is integrated into the class curriculum.  These projects will incorporate a variety of materials and may include the following technology: Fusion 360, SketchUp, iMovie, soldering, and DIY Electronics.

Grades 6-8

This year 6th and 7th graders will exchange one of their electives for a middle school design class. The projects will expand on technical skills attained in previous years and engage with a community design challenge, 6th graders with Woodside staff and 7th graders on a project that addresses an issue that the town of Woodside faces. At the 8th-grade level  students take on a year-long project that will be more independent allowing students to work on a topic or challenge of their choice within San Mateo County. Additionally, students may use the following technologies in their projects: Arduino/Raspberry Pi, HTML/CSS, Fusion 360, SketchUp, iMovie, and InVision.

Benefits, Process & Collaborative ApproachTop of Page

Benefits of the Design Program

  • Assist students in the development of skills needed for a changing world; understanding that professionals today work in cross-disciplinary teams on adaptive challenges that constantly shift;

  • Design projects provide context and experience in academic work, critical thinking, collaboration, iteration, analysis, and reflection;

  • Students enjoy the flexibility to explore ideas through personal strengths and learning styles;

  • Students are able to build and foster relationships within the community.


  • Find It — Identify a problem to be solved by using the design process

  • Sketch It — Explore ideas and possible solutions

  • Build It — Create a prototype of the design and refine prototype based on feedback

  • Share It — Communicate and assess the process and purpose of the design

  • Creative space — Our design lab houses the equipment and tools that allow students to fully execute their ideas

Collaborative Approach

The program is lead by a collaborative group of administrators, teacher leads, and the technology department. This approach allows for optimal opportunities to create experiences that maximize student potential for creativity and learning.