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Design and Innovation

La Jolla Country Day School’s Innovation Center aims to inspire greatness for a better world by challenging students to identify and analyze real-world problems and design innovative solutions to affect positive change in the world.

In the Upper School, students will begin to refine their complex technical skills by building electromechanical machines and working with complex sensors and data. Students will also learn how to perform ethnographic research, interview people to understand their story emotional drivers and why they make decisions in order to uncover hidden insights. It will be from these insights that students will be able to identify problems people don’t know they have in order to develop truly innovative solutions.


  • Advanced Design Thinking to Open Entrepreneurship Honors

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    Prerequisite: Design Thinking to Open Entrepreneurship

    This course will build on the human-centered design process learned in Design Thinking to Open Entrepreneurship and culminate in a long-term project that is ready for implementation beyond our walls, whether that’s a start-up company, an art installation, a community-service project or something else. Students will have the option to work with this year’s partner company on their project (previous partners: CamelBak, Ottobock) and will travel to the company headquarters to present their final product to the design team. In addition to this project, there will be biweekly classes dedicated to special topics in design (diversity in tech, cognitive factors, accessibility and student topics TBD) and technical skill building (2D/3D modeling, sensors).
  • Advanced Innovation Technology Studio Honors

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    Prerequisite: Innovation Technology Studio

    The goal of this advanced studio is for students to master modern technologies to create powerful, innovative solutions to 21st-century problems. The course is composed of several small, student-driven projects that build these skills and culminates in a long-term project of your choosing. As a studio class meeting with the Innovation Technology Studio, we will work independently and share our progress with the class each week. We will also discuss special topics in technology (diversity in tech, cognitive factors, accessibility and student topics TBD) every few weeks.
  • Advanced Robotics

    2 semesters, 1 credit, Semester 1
    Prerequisite: Robotics, AP Computer Science or participation in FIRST FTC Robotics team in previous year
    UC Approved “g” Science Elective Course

    The robotics class is a hands-on project-based course designed to develop students' creativity and technological acumen through the process of designing, building, programming and operating robots to perform specific tasks. The course begins with simple experiments involving sensors and motors. More complicated tasks involve building integrated prototype devices that collect data using sensors and processing this data using JAVA programming for applications run on Android phones. In addition to the use of precast parts, students will use CAD software and 3D fabrication extensively. Students are responsible for not only developing such devices in teams but also communicating the reasons why they chose a particular method for achieving their team's goals. This will be done in various ways, including maintaining an engineering notebook and making both prerecorded and live presentations. The course fosters cooperative interaction and emphasizes that science is an active, social and technical enterprise. The culminating project will be creating a robot that fulfills the specifications established in the FIRST FTC challenge. Students will then compete in the FIRST FTC San Diego league in an attempt to qualify for the San Diego Regional Robotics tournament.
  • Design Thinking to Open Entrepreneurship

    2 semesters, 1 credit

    This course will teach students a modern, human-centered design process and culminate in a long-term project that will be ready for implementation beyond the school’s walls. Projects can range from a start-up company to an art installation to a community-service project—the possibilities are endless. This process is based on modern design principles, supported by social science, and is used at tech companies including Uber, Twitter and Instagram. Students will first identify important 21st-century problems that are ripe for innovation by going out into the world and observing human behavior. Students will have the option to work with this year’s partnered company on their project (previous partners have included CamelBak and Ottobock) and may travel to the company headquarters to present their final product to the design team. In addition to this project, there will be biweekly classes dedicated to special topics in design (diversity in technology, cognitive factors, accessibility and student topics TBD) and technical skill building (2D/3D modeling and sensors).
  • Design Thinking to Open Entrepreneurship (Honors)

    2 semesters, 1 credit

    This course will teach students a modern, human-centered design process and culminate in a long-term project that will be ready for implementation beyond the school’s walls. Projects can range from a start-up company to an art installation to a community-service project—the possibilities are endless. This process is based on modern design principles, supported by social science, and is used at tech companies including Uber, Twitter and Instagram. Students will first identify important 21st-century problems that are ripe for innovation by going out into the world and observing human behavior. Students will have the option to work with this year’s partnered company on their project (previous partners have included CamelBak and Ottobock) and may travel to the company headquarters to present their final product to the design team. In addition to this project, there will be biweekly classes dedicated to special topics in design (diversity in technology, cognitive factors, accessibility and student topics TBD) and technical skill building (2D/3D modeling and sensors).

    Note: The Honors track will require more detailed proposal writing, presentation to investors at the end of the year and a variety of professional-level deliverables.
  • Innovation Technology Studio

    2 semesters, 1 credit

    The goal of this course is for students to master modern technologies to create powerful, innovative solutions to 21st-century problems. Students will study wearable electronics, 3D modeling and printing, laser cutting, virtual reality, sensors and data, and human-computer interaction. The course will initially be composed of several small, student-driven projects that build essential skills, which will culminate in a long-term project of the student’s choice. This project will not only be fun and inspiring, but it will also solve a real-world problem that has been identified through research. As a studio class, students will work independently and share their progress with the class each week. Discussion on special topics in technology (diversity in technology, cognitive factors, accessibility and student topics TBD) will occur every few weeks.
  • Innovation Technology Studio Honors

    2 semesters, 1 credit

    The goal of this course is for students to master modern technologies to create powerful, innovative solutions to 21st-century problems. Students will study wearable electronics, 3D modeling and printing, laser cutting, virtual reality, sensors and data, and human-computer interaction. The course will initially be composed of several small, student-driven projects that build essential skills, which will culminate in a long-term project of the student’s choice. This project will not only be fun and inspiring, but it will also solve a real-world problem that has been identified through research. As a studio class, students will work independently and share their progress with the class each week. Discussion on special topics in technology (diversity in technology, cognitive factors, accessibility and student topics TBD) will occur every few weeks.

    Note: The Honors track will require a more detailed proposal writing, a presentation to investors at the end of the year and a variety of professional-level deliverables.
  • Robotics

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    UC Approved “g” Science Elective Course

    The robotics class is a hands-on project-based course designed to develop students' creativity and technological acumen through the process of designing, building, programming and operating robots to perform specific tasks. The course begins with simple experiments involving sensors and motors. More-complicated tasks involve building integrated prototype devices that collect data using sensors, and then process this data to make decisions using Java programming with Android Studio. In addition to the use of precast parts, students will use CAD software and 3D fabrication extensively to build custom components for their robots. Students are responsible for not only developing such devices in teams but also communicating the reasons why they chose a particular method for achieving their team's goals. The course fosters cooperative interaction and emphasizes that engineering and programming are active, social and technical enterprises. The culminating project will be creating a robot that fulfills the specifications established in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). Students will then compete in several meets in the FTC San Diego league in an attempt to qualify for the San Diego Regional Robotics tournament.