Gear light bulb

Q4. Prototypes

15. Design Thinking


Next, you’ll be creating something physical (an object, a visual, a presentation) to test your idea and convey it to others. It should be something that can be held or seen. Remember that a prototype does not need to be pretty or functional to convey your idea.

Watch the video from YouTube below on prototyping. 


I Can Statements

  • research and cite sources for inspiration for your design
  • create a prototype to convey key features of your design
  • select appropriate materials for creating a prototype

Key Vocabulary

Inspiration: The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Prototype: An example object which demonstrates the same features and qualities as the final product. It is usually created to test out a design and gather feedback to learn from and improve upon.

Play the Vocabulary Game below to practice the Key Vocabulary

You can change the Quiz mode to Match, Test, Learn, Flash Cards, Spell using the selection list at the bottom right of the activity that says "Choose a Study Mode." Direct Link


Record all of your progress in your Design Thinking Workbook

1. Research

  • Use your research skills from Thing 9: Search Strategies to draw inspiration for your design.
  • You may consider the types of materials, similar designs, the environmental impact of your solution and other considerations for your idea.
  • Record your notes in your Design Thinking Workbook.

2. Rough Draft

  • Create a rough draft of your idea in your Design Thinking Workbook.
  • This can be done by drawing or outlining your idea.
  • Remember that this is intended to be very quick; don’t spend a lot of time on it.

3. Select and Gather Materials

  • Choose a medium that will best help you test and demonstrate your idea.
  • Is your idea best seen digitally or on paper?
  • Does it need to be held in someone’s hand?
Physical Materials Digital




Minecraft EE

Craft supplies (popsicle sticks,
construction paper, glue, scissors,
pipe cleaners, yarn, etc.)

Google Sites

Poster board

Google Slides


Google Drawings

Sketching and Paper Prototyping 
Video (for apps and websites)

Adobe Creative Cloud
NA all online, use your own digital images or photos Microsoft Sway
NA all online web-based

4. Build

  • Create your prototype.
  • Take a screenshot or picture of your prototype and paste it into your Design Thinking Workbook.
  • If your design is easier to link to, attach a hyperlink to your prototype in your Design Thinking Workbook.

Completing this Quest

You have completed this Quest after completing the I Can Statements and steps above. After you’ve taken a picture of, or linked to your prototype, you can move on to Quest 5: Test & Improve.

 Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

  I am ready to go on to Quest 5 Test & Improve

MITECS  Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

3. Knowledge Constructor
a. plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
d. build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

4. Innovative Designer
c. develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.

6. Creative Communicator
a. choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.