The Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) was interested in reaching out to schools and nonprofit practitioners to support STEM-based learning. They wanted to create a partnership that would involve Oracle technologists who had a genuine love of making, tinkering, computer science, and engaging with students, particularly with girls and historically underrepresented minorities. The foundation could have simply sent out a survey and asked what people wanted. Instead, because they are innovative and empathetic thinkers, they wanted to use the design thinking process to find out what would be most helpful to STEM educators and their students.
Colleen Cassity, an advocate for human-centered design, engaged Lime Design to support this initiative. This project focused on the application of design thinking to solve a specific problem. Lime Design crafted a design thinking workshop with the goal of uncovering insights about STEM-based learning from a diverse array of stakeholders. To do so, we reached out to our extensive network and invited teachers, school administrators, entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, students, mentors and volunteers. These stakeholders became interview subjects for the design challenge, which was “Designing an Education/Corporate STEM Partnership.” Oracle had a chance to discover the stakeholder needs in surprising and innovative ways through ethnographic interviewing. With over 65 participants working in diverse teams, we were able to generate a myriad of innovative solutions, and build, test, and iterate prototypes. With the information gained in the day-long experience, The Oracle Education Foundation had a series of prototypes ready that would drive their strategy in moving forward with their project.