Getting Setup

This package is meant to provide all the guidance necessary to run an Exponential Sprint for the duration of one class session. 




Classroom Setup

  • 1 Table + chairs per 5-6 people in cluster/banquet formation

  • A projector for a laptop to show slides

Starting the Conversation


During this time, the teacher reviews with the students what it means to reach for a 10x Solution. We also talk about the importance of having a great team when pursuing 10x solutions, and what it means to be a member of a high-impact team.

This slide deck contains notes to help the teacher discuss key points and facilitate the conversation with the students, as well as an entry exercise to get the kids energized and ready to focus on big thinking.

Present the Challenge

There are a number of great challenges facing humanity, both on local and international scales, that kids can focus on for the sprint. It's important that the child feels passionate about the problem they are working to solve. 

Get kids into teams

  • Around 3-5 team members is the sweet spot.

  • Each team member should be happy with the team they are on, from the start to the finish. That means that even at the eleventh hour if someone wants to switch teams and loses interest in the project/topic and/or isn't thriving with their teammates, then teachers should let them move on to another team they are happy with.

  • Let the kids know that they have this freedom as they start to group off. It will ease a lot of tensions that comes with forming teams.

  • This won't work if the kids hearts are in it, so make sure they have found the team and topic they are passionate and energized about working on.

Start Ideating


Students individually get down as many ideas as possible (one unique idea per sheet of Post-it), while maintaining “Yes! And” thinking. Timing this portion is important because it forces focus. Typically we allow students around 10-15min, depending on the temperament of the class. 

Students may be encouraged to challenge themselves in getting down at least 10 unique ideas, and continuously remind them that any idea at all should be recorded as this allows other ideas to keep flowing.

Start Graphing


Students create a graph of all of their ideas and identify overlaps and categories, and determine which qualify as an exponential - the ideas that live in the top right of the graph.

Identifying the 10x


Student team members individually vote on their favorite ideas from the top right of the graph, and then the team collectively decides on a project direction.

Paper Prototyping


Student teams identify project milestones and pilot, and prototype the solution on paper.

Lightning Pitches


Student teams present their project to the class for feedback on how to proceed.













To help you explore potential areas of focus, we recommend looking at the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals as a starting point. Once a problem area has been identified, phrase the challenge into a "How might we..." question (e.g. How might we solve for climate change using robotics?).

© 2016-2017 by Team Exponent - All Rights Reserved

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