Educator Challenges


"You Learn the Work by Doing the Work."  - Harvard Graduate School of Education

Educator Challenges within futurePREP'd

Within futurePREP'd we believe wholeheartedly in the simple notion that "you learn the work by doing the work". As a result, within each of our experiences for educators they have the opportunity to both (1) assume the role of a student and actually experience the techniques and tools that they will be using with their own students and (2) practice those tools and techniques with students in a summer program prior to implementing them with the students in their classrooms.

When the educators assume the role of the student, they are faced with a real-life community challenge and progress from the Observation Stage of the Creative Sequence (e.g. - What is the challenge and how will we form teams to tackle it?) to the Validation Stage (e.g. - What is the final solution that best addresses the challenge and does an authentic audience actually "buy" it?)

Challenge for 2014 - Redesign the Holland Armory


Project Clarity (a community initiative to permanently clean, restore, and maintain the waters of Lake Macatawa), the Model Communities Initiative , and the Holland Museum are interested in having educators involved in futurePREP Explore the following driving question:


These organizations would like participating educators to address this driving question by developing recommendations for the use of the Holland Armory (the third largest exhibit space in the state) in downtown Holland, Michigan as a K-12 and community destination to learn about and appreciate the importance of the Macatawa Watershed.


In addressing this driving question, each of the groups of educators went through each step of the Creative Sequence. In particular, within the Investigation Stage, the educators utilized the following techniques among others:

Empathy Map

Educators worked in small teams to produce "Empathy Maps" to gain empathy for students and educators that might utilize the Armory space in the future.

External Link  Empathy maps that the educators created

External Link  Protocol for creating Empathy maps

Heart, Hand, Mind

In order to ensure that their solutions addressed the needs of both students and teachers, participating educators created "Heart, Hand, Mind" maps to show what would make a solution practical, what would touch the student or teacher's emotions, and what would make the solution useful.

External Link  Heart, Hand, Mind maps that the educators created

External Link  Protocol for creating Heart, Hand, Mind maps


Educators worked in small teams to produce "Pain/Gain" diagrams for educators and/or students that will utilize the Armory space. This diagram later served as a filter to ensure that the solutions that were developed would best serve the intended users of the space.

External Link   Pain/Gain maps that the educators created

External Link  Protocol for creating Pain/Gain diagrams

Mood Board

Along with each of the techniques listed above, educators also created Mood Boards to show what they would like the Armory space to feel like. This also acted as a filter to ensure that the solutions that were developed had the proper "feel".

External Link  Mood Boards that the educators created

External Link  Protocol for creating Mood Boards




For more information or any questions, please contact one of our staff members:

Assistant Superintendent

Valorie Putnam
Assistant Superintendent
616-738-8935 x4203


David Searles
616-738-8950 x4302

Administrative Assistant

Kathy Steinbach
Administrative Assistant
616-738-8950 x4034


Jennifer Knittel
616-738-8950 x4878

Program Developer

Nicole Gitler
Program Developer
616-738-8950 x4175
Gwen Luban
Program Developer
616-738-8950 x4176

Specialist/Early College

Melissa Bultema
Specialist/Early College
616-738-8950 x4204

Career Development Facilitator

David Ladd
Career Development Facilitator
616-738-8950 x4089