Workshops for Schools at Discovery World

The following workshops utilize the wide range of tools and technology onsite at Discovery World’s Kohl’s Design It! Lab. From science to communication nearly any subject can be taught through these hands-on design experiences. Workshops run between 45-90 minutes and may be scheduled in addition to an already scheduled lab or scheduled alone.

For questions about Workshop content and activities, or to register today, call 414.765.8625.


01 Design for the Human Body

Human Anatomy, Biology, and Mathematics

How Many Books?
Skeletal/Muscular Systems, Body in Motion
Understand the carrying capacities by designing, creating and testing a backpack. Students rate the creations of their peers based on performance, aesthetics, comfort, and marketability. Use this experience as a jumping-off or culminating activity for units on measurement, body systems, economics, design, and many more.
3rd – 8th Grade | 90 Minutes

Helmet Design
Human Brain, Senses, Measurement, Protection
Examine the anatomy of the brain and learn how the skull protects it and how designers and engineers create protective gear with Helmet Design. Students create custom-fit design prototypes for future helmets from easily-manipulated materials and utilize industrial vacuum forming technology. An excellent activity to stress measurement, design, real-world mathematics applications, the skeletal or nervous system, and more.
6th – 12th Grade | 90 Minutes

The Human Body &  Architecture
Measurement, Sizes, Proportion
Need an engaging activity that makes use of both mathematics and body systems? Wearable Architecture helps students better understand the human body by designing something for it. Students learn about the science of anthropometry – the study of human dimensions – and use easily manipulated materials to make items to be worn.
6th – 12th Grade | 45 Minutes

Muscles and Structural Tension
Biology, How Weights are Carried, Architecture
Explore the relationship of muscle to bone using architecture. Students will create tensegrity models – unique 3D structures under tension – and examine tensegrity structures in Nature and architecture to better understand the skeletal-muscular system. Use this hands-on class to enhance units in anatomy, mathematics and physics.
5th – 8th Grade | 45 Minutes


02 Design From/For Nature

Science, Biology, and Nature

Bones to Buildings
Skeletal System, Physics, Architecture
Understand the skeletal system by exploring the parallels between the human body and architectural design. Students will design, build and test structures made of easily manipulated materials as they study how bones form and grow in the human body. This experience enhances units on physics, mathematics, anatomy, architecture and more.
5th – 8th Grade | 45 Minutes

Big Things in Small Packages
Ratios, Geometry, Measurement
From DNA and lungs to cell phones and origami, learn how the human body, Nature, and designers fit complex things into small places. Using the science of DNA as a guide, students will use ratios, measurements, and mathematics to fold paper and other materials into small designs and innovative products.
3rd – 8th Grade | 45 Minutes

Nature’s Strongest Shapes
Biology, Botany, Natural Forms
Discover what engineers and designers can learn by studying bones, trees, and bees. Investigate the ways in which Nature uses shapes to make weak materials strong. Create your own strong shapes and put them to the test; use this knowledge to design a product based on mimicking nature.
3rd – 8th Grade | 45 Minutes


03 Cultural Design

Social Studies, Humanities, and History

Nature’s Hidden Geometry
Ratios, Proportions, History
Teach geometry and ratios by revealing how Nature uses pattern for building, decorating, and camouflage. Let you students explore geometry in Nature as they take inspiration from plants and insects to design a product to take home. Ties in well with geometry, ratios, and biology.
5th – 8th Grade | 45 Minutes

Symbols and Meaning
Anthropology, History
Cultures from around the world use symbols to help communicate ideas and beliefs. Your students will explore symbols and motifs in regional Native American culture as they create copies of animal tracks in plastic. Use this experience to enhance units on biology, social studies, and history.
3rd – 8th Grade | 45 Minutes

Cultural Technology
Anthropology, Measurement, Craft
Explore cultural technology and the history of making things by examining everyday items, from shoes to shelter, of today and ages past. Students will design and create their own products to wear from modern materials using historical techniques. Use this experience to enhance units on social studies, measurement, history, design, and more.
8th – 12th Grade | 45 Minutes


04 Drawing as a Second Language

English and Communication

3D Modeling in SketchUp
Communication, Speech, Technology
Engineers, designers and animators all use 3D computer modeling to demonstrate and test ideas. Let your students imagine their futures by exploring the basics of 3D modeling and learning about career opportunities available to them today. This experience concludes with students presenting their designs to the class in an animation. Use this experience to enhance lessons on communication, technology, and mathematics.
9th – 12th Grade | 90 Minutes

Future of Drawing
Technology, Communication Techniques
Learn how computers can be used to communicate ideas by preparing images to be “drawn” using a variety of high-tech tools including laser-cutters and CNC machines. Students discover new technology, career opportunities, and communication techniques as they explore the Future of Drawing. The session concludes with the students’ images being transferred onto acrylic with laser cutters. Use this experience to enhance units on communication, technology, and design.
8th – 12th Grade | 45 Minutes


05 NewSpace

Mathematics, Physics, and Architecture

Scale, Ratio and Design
Geometry, Proportions
Discover the importance of precise measurement and accurate information as it pertains to product design and architecture. Students learn how scale models are created using ratios and how this information is used to create products and spaces that fit the human body. This is an excellent experience to enhance units on measurement, ratios, and architecture.
3rd – 8th Grade | 45 Minutes

The Physics of Architecture
Mathematics, Physics, How Things Stand
Enhance lessons on physics and mathematics by studying structures in architecture. Students are challenged to create and carry out experiments to test the strength of these forms and learn where they are best utilized in architectural design.
6th – 12th Grade | 45 Minutes

Maps and Topography: Lake Michigan
Geography, Mapping, Biology
Uncover the depths of Lake Michigan from water quality to temperature and biology by creating your own topographic map. Discover which aquatic species live at each thermocline as you construct this teaching tool layer by layer. This experience enhances units on geography, biology, mathematics applications, and social studies.
3rd – 8th Grade | 90 Minutes


Enhance Your Experience

Design 101 
Don’t have time for a full lab, but want to participate in a Kohl’s Design It! Lab Workshop? Enhance your Discovery World experience by coming in for a brief but inspiring design session. Students will get introduced to how inspiration from the world around them can help create innovative,  beautifully designed products.
3-12 grade 20-30 minutes