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Design Thinking at Soundview Prep


YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY, January 29, 2019 - Soundview Preparatory School today announced the inaugural Design Thinking Class has developed an alternative to our current lunch service for its students, and potentially students at other schools, during their lunch period.

“From the beginning of the class, students were educated on how to utilize the design thinking process to first create empathy for the people who were facing the problem. They then defined what the issues of the challenge were,” said Mrs. Melinda Franzese, Design Thinking and long-time Soundview faculty member.  “Next, students came up with ideas – ideated possible solutions - and were able to hone in on the list of possibilities to then create a prototype for their solution. Finally, they tested their prototype – a cardboard vending machine - and dispensed “food” to the buyers from behind the large cardboard creation. It is an amazing process to watch, and see students work together toward one goal.”

In Soundview’s Design Thinking class, students are given the tools to creatively solve human-centered problems and challenges using specific steps. They are taught to “fail fast, to succeed sooner,” and that failure teaches us. To fail in this class is to learn and seek out alternate options for solving a problem or challenge. These steps teach empathy for others and can be used in all facets of their lives. Soundview Students learn the various processes used in design thinking and will focus on the main four: defining the challenge, ideation, prototyping, and testing. 

“At Soundview, like many schools, we face an obstacle of selecting a food service or food plan that meets the needs of every child. Our design thinking students, were able to use what they learned in the classroom in a real-life challenge and come up with a solution that worked best for our campus,” said Dr. Kenneth Cotrone, Head of School. “Offering a vending machine to our community will help alleviate the different needs and wants of our student population, outside of our normal food service offered during lunchtime, and will maximize our ability to customize a school plan that works best for each individual student.”

While this innovative approach was conducted at Soundview Prep, it is a process that can be at any school that faces an issue or a challenge and allows students, rather than administration, to take the lead on finding a solution that works best for their community.  

About Soundview Prep:

Soundview Preparatory School is an independent, co-ed day school for grades 6 -12 located in Yorktown Heights, New York. Soundview’s purpose is to provide a college-preparatory education in a supportive environment that requires a rigorous application to academics, instills respect for ethical values, and fosters self-confidence by helping each student feel recognized and valued.