CHRIS SYKORA, Deerfield High School



Design Thinking & Creative Activism



How purposefully do you teach creativity? 

This class is Creativity engaged as a big-picture mindset while practicing physical processes in the visual arts, with collaborative classroom experiences and eventually expressed through advocacy that will help you save education as we know it.

Experience short 1-day exercises and explore multi-week units while making art and cultivating transformative conversations.


Specific Topics:


Creativity is Learning - The Collaborative Creative Bootcamp, teaching creativity across all of your classes with purpose through meaningful collaborative experiences.


  • This theme will involve a detailed experience on how to cultivate understanding and ownership of the creative process in your students, subsequently illuminating how creativity is learning actualized.

  • Engage in parts of the Collaborative Creative Bootcamp which serves both as a get-to-know-you for students during the first week and sets the foundation for purposefully investigating the definition and steps towards deep comprehension of the creative process.

  • Resources and examples will be shared on how to use this theme in advocating for your programs.


Creative Activism - teaching leadership, SEL, and civic engagement through art as a way to change the world.


  • Socio-Emotional Learning is inherently linked with the creative process. Students will explore and experience these connections throughout the curriculum.

  • Understanding creativity is one thing, but taking agency over learning and using creativity to solve some of the world's most challenging problems makes learning more meaningful and relevant. Students will engage in a thematic art-making unit focused on saving the world.

  • This unit includes small and large activities that support metacognition and deeper thinking on the content while developing traditional skills in the arts.


Beyond STEAM - interdisciplinary units that engage communities and promote student agency through design thinking.


  • Students will discuss and share interdisciplinary projects that include the above themes and dive deeper into the true meaning and applications of STEAM.

  • Learn how the visual arts can drive curriculum across all content areas with specific school-wide and student-led interdisciplinary projects.



Limit 24 - The class can accommodate up to 36 participants. Each participant will have their own personal workstation, drawer and/or storage cabinet.



Supply list will be emailed to all participants.



Visual Arts Classroom 1775, Niles West High School