My closest exposure to engineering at school was a dilapidated sandbox in the back of the classroom. We used it to build bridges and drive trucks through the sand. Science was studying the effect of eating school glue and the velocity of spitballs.
Take the project-based unit, Enchanted Engineering, for example. This unit challenges students to rethink classic Fairy Tales (the same ones I learned about in the 80s) by using science, technology and creativity to solve the problems in the story. Lower School teacher Heather Harpole describes the unit as “a perfect combination for an integrated STEM lesson that promotes problem-solving, perseverance, and creativity."
In this unit, students think outside the box and design solutions for the characters in the story. They create tools to help the characters outsmart the “bad guys”, like the Big, Bad Wolf. Think about it. What if Rapunzel had created a better way to raise and lower people coming to her tower? Scientifically speaking, her hair was a really bad idea. I mean, c’mon!
Students are discovering real solutions by thinking creatively. They are building houses of straw - and pipe cleaner, KEVA planks and Legos bricks - all to discover whether the Big, Bad Wolf can huff and puff and still blow their houses down.
Kudos to our Science Instigators, @Betsy_Minton and Melissa Estremera, along with all of our teachers, who are making learning not only fun, but also making learning stick. Twenty years from now, unlike myself, our students can be proud of the engineering foundation they received here at Episcopal.
If you have not had the chance to experience Episcopal, all you have to do is request a tour. Come see our innovative teaching and learning tools, and interact with our faculty and staff.
On a side note, I met a visitor today on campus. His encouraging words to me were, "I only wish I knew earlier what I know now about Episcopal.”
Visit us and experience the difference.
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Vito Cheong started as Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for Episcopal in June of 2016. A native of South America, he grew up in Toronto, Canada. He specializes in defining and telling Episcopal’s story of excellence in education through online and social media content, photography and graphic design. Vito previously ran his own marketing and graphic design business, Media Mix. There, he developed a philosophy of recognizing the worth of each individual. This foundation brings substance and authenticity to all of his work.