Within Ripple Effect, the design process is an important tool for building “water literacy” and for fostering informed and forward-looking civic engagement. Ripple Effect curriculum asks students to apply knowledge gained through lectures, observation, and research in the development of design solutions, building their capacity to understand and shape the physical environment around them, while exercising both their creative and critical facilities through hands-on and project-based learning. Through design, students gain readily transferable skills and capacities: empathy, collaboration, persistence, learning through failure and testing, and presentation.