Design Thinking Workshop with Black STEAM UK

by Florence Okoye

It’s always a real treat to get out into the community. There’s always lots of commonalities across the Black British experience, but every city has its own culture, its own identity and its own unique way of doing things.

On Sunday we joined the team at BlackSteamUK for a day of Girls doing STEM, celebrating International Women’s Month and Science week in one go! Led by Anita Shervington, it was a day full of activities and talks to inspire young black women, showing them how they can get involved with science and technology, both in their careers and in making a difference in their own lives.


Anita Shervington, Chair of the West Midlands British Science Association branch

I led two Design Thinking Workshops where we used the ideation process to turn people’s ideas into reality. Each group had a product owner who the ‘makers’ had to remember to keep asking questions to improve their design, as well as ‘mappers’ – the people who like to map out how the product works and what features each stage will need – and ‘prototypers’, who are part of the mapping process but respond to each stage by trying to make something which covers as many of the bases as possible.

It was great fun seeing what the kids came up with and in some ways it wasn’t at all surprising that they seemed to get it quicker than plenty of adults(…). Working together, they learned the importance of making not telling, that it’s ok not to be perfect the first time round (or the second… or the third…), that you always need feedback to improve an idea and it’s important not be negative – instead of saying “No”, try “Yes and…”

Support BlackSteamUK by following them on Twitter @blacksteamuk. Keep an eye out for upcoming events!

Interested in Design Thinking? There are lots of resources for community-led design, but here are a few we found really helpful:

Spaghetti Jams

The Glass-House Community

Design Thinkers

Design Council



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