Minimester: The Power of Design Thinking

Avenues Social Media Team

Minimester is a week-long program for our middle grades students. During these intensive courses, students hang up their backpacks and explore a subject about which they are passionate. The “Power of Design Thinking” was an investigation into the design process led by Todd Holcomb, professional designer and Avenues parent, and Erin Finn-Welch, humanities teacher and head of 5th grade.

The students discover the importance of empathy in good design as they embody different personas trying to navigate New York City’s notoriously complicated Penn Station. This knowledge forms the basis of their projects, as cultivating empathy is the first step in the design process.


  • 7th Grade
  • 8th Grade
  • Design
  • Design Thinking
  • Middle Grades Program
  • Minimester
  • Upper Division
  • Video