Education for the 21st century

Help us ignite innovation, create breakthrough ideas, and celebrate the enterprising ecosystem of the St. Vrain Valley Schools.

Our Vision

The Design Challenge is new competition designed to ignite innovation, create breakthrough ideas, and celebrate the enterprising ecosystem of the St. Vrain Valley Schools.

The challenge provides each school an opportunity to solve an authentic system challenge within their school environment. Each year, school faculty teams will be invited to address a challenge that confronts their capacity to achieve our district's mission of academic excellence by design. School faculties will utilize Design Thinking processes to develop their solutions and generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions. Community partners will judge applicants and award prizes to the team with the highest rated solutions.


2015 Focus

Apply Design Thinking to solve challenges that are being faced by staff, students and families while integrating the Learning Technology Plan in our schools.

Design Challenge participants will:

  • Strengthen faculty skills in using the Design Thinking process in authentic workplace situations
  • Generate replicable solutions that can be use used in other schools across the district
  • Encourage excitement in using entrepreneurial practices within the school system for other purposes
Learn more about our solution target >>


Our Sponsors


Design thinking is the essential ability to combine empathy, creativity and rationality to meet user needs and solve real-world issues.

  • "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

Two Competitions

Choose your pathway to innovation in the classroom.

Emerging Learners

The Emerging Learner Competition nurtures those new to Design Thinking by providing additional support in applying Design Thinking to their identified challenge. The Emerging Learning Competition is strictly for those with no previous experience using Design Thinking.

Grand Prize

$4,000

Runner Up

$1,000

Skillful Practitioner

The Skilled Practitioner Competition provides a dynamic forum for those experienced in using Design Thinking in their school-based practice. The Skilled Practitioner Competition is designed to stretch the skills of those with previous experience and elevate their expertise.

Grand Prize

$4,000

Runner Up

$1,000

Competition Timeline

  • October 2015

    Interested school teams complete application to participate

  • November 6, 2015

    Deadline to submit intent to participate

  • November 7, 2015

    Attend Design Challenge Institute for emerging learnings and those new to this process (optional)

  • December 2015

    Ideate Checkpoint

  • January 2016

    Prototype and Test Checkpoint

  • February 19, 2016

    Completion and submission of solution on white paper

  • March 5, 2016

    Live pitch competition, presentation of awards

Solution Target

For the 15-16 school year, schools will be focusing on the implementation of the district’s Learning Technology Plan.

Interested schools will choose one or more of the six essential components of learning technology (Shared Leadership, Family & Community Partnerships, Device Operations & Support, Learning Habits & Expectations, Tier 1 Instruction, Student Agency & Learning Mindsets) to focus upon and use the design thinking process to develop an actionable solution for systemic improvement. Participants will compete for monetary prizes and receive ongoing support from district staff.

Download the 6 Essential Components of Learning Tech >>

Supporting Documentation >>

Professional Development

Join us on Saturday, November 7th from 8:00-3:00pm for the Design Challenge Institute.

Our district will host a Design Challenge Institute training for salary credit at Timberline PK-8 Community Room from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. This training will provide a foundation of knowledge for those entering the Emerging Learning Competition, as well as all others interested in learning Design Thinking strategies and practices. Interested persons should register through the Office of Professional Development or contact OPD with questions at 303-682-7231.

Register Now >>

  • "Imagination can take you everywhere but design will take you to somewhere great."
    - M. Cobani

Now Accepting 2015-16 Applications

Your application to participate must be received by November 6, 2015.