At The British International School Shanghai Puxi, the Da Vinci Centre and the Hamilton Innovation Centre lie at the heart of our Primary and Secondary campuses, giving students of all ages the opportunity to solve real world problems using science, engineering, arts and technology. Our collaboration with MIT allows us to create a world-class academic framework as well as giving students practical STEAM-related challenges to solve.
In our regular 'challenge weeks,' whole year groups come together to design, prototype and fabricate new technologies in response to real life problems. The design of the centers allows students to develop their 'dirty' and 'clean' fabrication skills in the Fablab and MakerSpace, engineer and code in the Computing and Robotics Suite and develop their design and editing skills in the Graphics Suite, the Cinema and TV Studio. The fact that this takes place under one roof allows our students to develop an understanding of the Design Thinking Process that underpins our vision for STEAM.
Our Year 9 students recently came together to investigate ways in which the science of animal adaptations and wearable technologies can boost human performance. However, this investigation was complimented by a series of tailored units of work across the school. For example, in PE students worked with our resident Olympic gold medallist, Marlon Devonish, to learn about how he used wearable technologies to boost his performance. As a former elite athlete, Marlon worked closely with the academic staff and students to give real world examples of how wearable technologies are applied in training and competition.
Our Primary & Secondary innovation centers and our partnership with MIT allow us to deliver a truly world-class STEAM curriculum to our students. Our STEAM challenge weeks at the school, with our partners Nord Anglia schools in Asia and at MIT in the US give our students an unprecedented opportunity to explore, to understand and to solve real world problems using STEAM.
[Images via The British International School Shanghai Puxi]
Edward Beechey is the Assistant Headteacher (Curriculum) of the British International School Shanghai Puxi. Edward has worked in China for seven years, predominantly teaching History and Theory of Knowledge. Edward also works closely with Nord Anglia's STEAM partners MIT to create an in-depth STEAM program that allows students to solve real world problems.