Module 06
Human Centered Design: Empathy and Designing for Special Groups

Sixth Fire

"In the time of the Sixth Fire it will be evident that the promise of the First Fire came in in a false way. Those deceived by this promise will take their children away from the teachings of the Elders. Grandsons and granddaughters will turn against the Elders. In this way the Elders will lose their reason for living ... they will lose their purpose in life. At this time a new sickness will come among the people. The balance of may people will be disturbed. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief." 

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to describe how an older adult would feel while conducting Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Students will be able to describe what issues older adults face in their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Students will be able to describe strategies to help older adults with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

STEM Activities

Students will be introduced to the concept of Human Centered Design through Empathic Design. Students will have the opportunity to use an aging simulation suit (G.E.R.T suit) to help develop solutions through the empathic design process. The empathic design process has been known to spark innovation. The students will redesign a kitchen so that an older adult would easily be able to navigate and use.

Human Centered Design

Empathic Design Process


Related STEM Careers 

Product Designer

Industrial Engineer

Human Factors Engineer

Interior Designers

Teaching Resources

3D model of Kitchen

Requires Sketchup to open and view


Developing a GERT Suit

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