Written By Stina Chang
We value creativity and imagination in children, but what about solving world problems? We tend to think of practical solutions instead of solutions primed on creativity. Though many students are train- ing to become the best problem-solvers in school, freshman Amber Fu is learning to become a creative thinker at the Design Farm. “The problems [we have] today are very nebulous,” Design Farm mentor Donald Olgado said. “If we can define [the problem] properly, we can usually find someone who can solve it.”
The Design Farm allows students to learn about leadership, confidence and most importantly, design through the program Teen-Cubator. Teen-Cu- bator, a section of the Design Farm, provides space for students to express their creativity and apply that set of thinking to the real world. For Fu, this
is her favorite part about Design Farm and Teen-Cubator.“We have a lot of freedom, but there is also structure,”Fu said.
Fu first became interested in Teen-Cubator when she and her mom were looking for a program to help her find new interests. “I like engineering and math,” Fu said. “We thought it was a design program [that involved those subjects], so my mom signed me up.”
At Teen-Cubator, students come up with projects that can potentially solve dilemmas. Fu and her team are currently working on a project that helps high school students manage their time schedule. “I spend a lot of time on social media and I can never get my homework done until really late at night,” Fu said. “So I want to change that and start to feel aware.”
Since a number of sites and apps already assist people with time management, Fu and her team decided to utilize one of these programs to show people the difference it makes when using a time management program. Being actively involved in this program, Fu saw herself influenced by her own project. “It’s helped me be more organized with my time,” Fu said.
Fu has been part of Teen-Cubator since the beginning of this school year, and she plans on continuing to remain involved. “I’m still deciding what I re- ally want, but this is definitely one of the top things that I want to do,” she said.
Olgado believes that students can utilize the Design Farm as a way to figure out their future interests in life. “It’s a way to get your feet wet and figure out what you like to do,” he said.
Middle school and high school students who are interested in joining the Teen- Cubator can contact the Design Farm team by visiting its website at thedfarm. org or by getting in touch with Donald Olgado.