What is this?


The K12 Lab is a catalyst for creative confidence in the elementary and secondary education sectors. Through workshops, resources or tools, we teach using immersive real-world projects where creative problem-solving matters most. We aim to obliterate opportunity gaps in K-12 education by experimenting with new models and sharing design approaches with stakeholders in the K-12 sector. Our experiences bias towards action and by jumping into new, invigorating ways of learning, educators have stretched beyond their comfort zone to develop new skills and mindsets.


Learn with us

The K12 Lab designs professional development experiences that inspire educators and set them on a journey to creatively engage with their students, content, school, and community. Through experiences, resources, and tools, we are constantly developing ways to build the creative confidence of educators.

We teach teachers in the ways they are now being asked to teach -- in immersive real-world projects and experiences where creative problem-solving matters most. Since doing beats talking about doing, we embrace jumping into new, invigorating experiences. Sure, there’s some initial discomfort, but the reward becomes clear as educators stretch beyond their comfort zone to pick up new skills and mindsets.

Discover Design Thinking

A three-day introduction to the process

Applications live

School Retool

Our school leader fellowship

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Take action now

Since doing beats talking, we aim to instill a bias towards action in our network of educators. Tools and resources can spark dramatic change in familiar conditions. We strive to make, collect, and share creative practices for educators to try in schools. To experience these practices firsthand, consider attending our Discover Design Thinking program.

K12 Lab Wiki

Explore resources, curriculum and activities

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See our experiments

America’s traditional school model is long past its “sell by” date. It was designed over 100 years ago to create and manage a skilled workforce for the Industrial Revolution. It predates Ford’s Model T, Edison’s light bulb, and Marconi’s radio. And yet, as those innovations have evolved into self-driving cars, LEDs, and virtual reality, the high school model is stuck in time—as segregated, myopic, and inflexible as ever. That is where the K12 Lab comes in. We make experiments happen.

Deeper Learning Puzzle Bus

Will you #EscapeTheTest?

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K12 Lab Network Community Email

Connect to new experiments and resources

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K12 Lab Team

Team Members

Laura McBain

K12 Lab Director of Community and Implementation

Louie Montoya

Designer in Residence, K12 Lab Network

Ariel Raz

Learning Experience Designer, K12 Lab Network

Sam Seidel

Director of K12 Strategy + Research

Devon Young

Program Manager, K12 Lab Network

K12 Lab News

Latest Updates

Opportunities from the Lab

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d.school K12 Lab Leadership Announcement

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Got Questions?

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Can I connect with the K12 Lab?

Yes! We love connecting with educators, innovators and other individuals and groups interested in the education innovation space. Below are some ways to get in touch:

Come to office hours: We hold office hours on Mondays weekly from 3:30-5:30. To reserve a spot please mail k12@dschool.stanford.edu with the subject title Office Hours.

Subscribe to our mailing list: All of our offerings are announced in our monthly network email, as well as stories from the field.

Tour the d.school: We offer tours of the d.school for educators and students once a month. If you’d like to join an upcoming tour check the schedule here.

Connect on social media: The K12 Lab Network maintains an active Instagram account, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Check out #DTK12chat, a weekly Twitter chat on design thinking in K-12 education, held on Wednesdays from 6-7 PM PST.

What kinds of professional development does the K12 Lab Network offer?

School Retool is a professional development fellowship that helps school leaders redesign their school’s culture using small, scrappy experiments called “hacks.” Hacks may start small, but they’re built on research-based practices that lead to Deeper Learning, and can create the kind of big changes school leaders strive to create.

Discover Design Thinking workshops are 2-day deep-dives in the process. Educators have a chance to practice design thinking as well as determine how to bring this practice home to their local context.

Design Thinking Deep Dives are fee-based collaborations with schools, organizations, and districts to design a context-specific challenge frame. This experience can take place at the d.school or on location. To learn more email k12@dschool.stanford.edu with the title Deep Dive.

Can the K12 Lab come to my school or organization?

Since we operate as a part of Stanford and are located in the Bay Area, most of our offerings are clustered around the region, including San Francisco, the Peninsula, and Oakland. We do occasionally offer programs in other areas. If you’re interested in pursuing such an opportunity, to learn more email k12@dschool.stanford.edu.

How can I find other educators who are using DT in their work?

There are lots of educators doing great things with design thinking in their schools and organizations across the globe. To find other like-minded design thinkers, you can:

• Visit our Design Thinking in Schools map

• Follow us on Twitter @k12lab, and join the #DTK12 chat on Wednesdays from 6-9 PM PST

• Join our Facebook group of educators

• Sign up for our network email to see what’s happening in the world of #DTK12


K12 Lab Tools

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Social Platforms

Program Channels