STEM & Integrated Studies

STEM & Integrated Studies


STEM classSTEM & Integrated Studies

It starts with Innovation Management: What does it take to run a business or organization?

What does it take to run an organization or a business? The majority of workers in Vermont are either self-employed or work for very small companies, but all workers benefit from having a sense of how a business runs. This course ties together what you are learning in core classrooms with the entrepreneurial and business thinking that is so important in our adult lives.

Students in Innovation Management are responsible for running the school’s Innovation Center, from bookkeeping and budgeting to monitoring safety to maintaining inventory to product development and production using the state-of-the art equipment for fundraising. Students will gain experience in computer-assisted design (CAD), old-fashioned hand tools, and process development. Students who take this course agree to a managerial role in the school environment. We will build evidence of applied math, engineering, and visual arts, and language arts into our portfolios.

CODING

MS Grade 8 Exploratory Coding & Robotics - As part of the grade 8 elective rotation, students will work together to solve short robotics challenges, and will learn some coding basics.

HS Computer Science Principles - Full-year - How do we program to solve a problem, to perform a
task, to entertain? This course introduces students to the breadth of the field of computer science.
Students will learn to apply computer science to solve problems through the development of algorithms
and computer programs. Students will also explain how computing innovations and computing systems,
including the Internet, work, explore their potential impacts, and contribute to a computing culture that is
collaborative and ethical.

ROBOTICS

HS Robotics I: This course provides an introduction to robotics for students with no programming
background using Vex Robotic kits. Using the CCSS math practices, students will learn to construct,
control and program these robots through investigative and exploration activities. Research projects will
expose the students to the engineering process.

HS Robotics II: (Successful completion of Robotics I or equivalent experience is required.) This
course will continue the development of the engineering skills necessary to advance previous robot
programs and design. Students use mentoring to increase their understanding of required programs.
More rigorous research projects or activities will be expected. Students may partake in the regional Vex
Robotics competition.

INTEGRATED STUDIES

In the Middle School and in the High School, teachers and students work in and with the IC to design units of study that integrate technology with science, the humanities and other disciplines. Here's an example of a recent unit of study:

English Language Arts Grade 7 - Students in Rebecca Castellano’s English Language Arts class are spending time in the IC building “identity vessels” - boxes that represent some of the internal and external characteristics that make up their personal identities.

The theme of this unit is identity, and the essential question we’re trying to answer is: Who am I? Students are learning about/reflecting on this question through various class readings and activities, and representing those reflections on their box with words and images. They are also learning about technology (which we will come back to in our lasseventh grade students in the innovation centert unit, where students will use their familiarity with RD Works and the laser cutter to create games that showcase their learning).

Through class work and time in the IC, they are developing the skills of reflection, technology, perseverance/problem solving, helping others, individual responsibility, patience, and many more. The end project is a completed box that is put together (and optionally colored) with a short essay reflecting on the process and explaining what different elements of the box represent about them.

Social Studies 10: Industrial Revolution Integrated IC Unit - Social Studies 10 students begin their exploration of modern world history by studying the ways in which the Industrial Revolution shaped societies. Working with the various tools and machines available in the Innovation Center, students design their own projects to address the Essential Question “How did the Industrial Revolution change the world?”

Student projects need to demonstrate/embody their thesis statement response to that question, and can include a variety of materials and designs. Students also consider how the process of making these projects compares to manufacturing processes before and after the Industrial Revolution. At the end of the unit, students present their work in a Gallery Walk format, providing constructive feedback to others through written comments. In addition to practicing content area skills through the application of hands-on construction and design skills, students also use this early unit to develop effective working relationships with their peers through their different levels of expertise in the Innovation Center.