For the past few years, HCDE has been using a design activity known as a charette as a way to introduce students to the user-centered design (UCD) process. We have run participatory workshops with students at all levels, from elementary school to graduate programs. They have been led by volunteer teams of UW students, who serve as facilitators and mentors. These outreach workshops have been especially successful in introducing young students to engineering, design, and STE(A)M disciplines, and in inspiring them to consider educational and career paths in these fields. We recently participated in the UW’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, part of the Pipeline Project K-12 outreach efforts. HCDE students spent a week at Markishtum Middle School in Neah Bay, Washington, leading a “Design Thinking” workshop. The Neah Bay students researched, designed, and prototyped mobile applications in domains relevant to their culture. This was Pipeline’s first engineering-oriented ASB program. In this talk, I will report on our experiences using the UCD charette in a variety of K- 12 outreach efforts, with a special look at the ASB experience in Neah Bay.
Andrew Davidson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). Davidson was previously an instructor at Roosevelt High School, where he initiated their computer science program during the 2010–2011 academic year and taught courses on computer science, web design, interactive media, and technology at the high school level. Davidson has been an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the University of Washington’s Division of Design, School of Art since 2006 and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Interaction Design and Visual Communication Design programs. Davidson received a Master of Science Engineering, Computer, and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied computer graphics and perceptual color spaces. He completed graduate work in photography at the State University of New York in Rochester and received a Bachelor of Art in Mathematics from the University of Rochester. In addition to teaching in and managing numerous academic programs in the US, Davidson also chaired an academic program in Italy at the Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea and the Media Design Program and Digital Media Department at the Art Center College of Design. Beyond academia, Davidson has worked in the technology industry; he was Director of Engineering at Philips Interactive Media in Los Angeles and Director of New Media Applications at Microware Systems Corporation in Santa Monica. He has more than 20 years of experience as an educator and more than 30 years of experience working in the technology industry.