REDI Lab students from Colorado Academy had the opportunity to gain empathy and a deeper understanding of the planning that goes into creating a unique and memorable user experience. Students were held enrapt during a rare, behind-the-scenes tour at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science of the Prep Lab and Modern Mammal collection (approximately 4.1 million specimens) led by evolutionary biologist Dr. John Demboski, Department Chair & Curator of Vertebrate Zoology.

The tour parlayed into a program led by Dave Allison, Manager of Onsite Programs at the museum, in which students went through an Appreciative Inquiry activity that forced them to think more deeply about the project they would complete during the third trimester. The tour and the setting of the museum forced the students to consider empathy as a tool to help them complete their work over the course of this term. Furthermore, the minds of the REDI Lab students were opened to new possibilities and to new ways of seeing themselves as learners and to visualize what their ideas for their final project might look like.

A core pedagogy of the REDI Lab is design thinking and a hallmark of the program is student exploration of a particular topic and a resulting project. During this visit REDI Lab students were afforded an opportunity to develop and practice their design skills to help them think more deeply about the learning that will occur during their REDI Lab experience.