The future success of today’s students will depend on their ability to solve problems by thinking laterally and working collaboratively. TASIS England complements its traditional education in both the Lower and Middle Schools with programs, designed to help students acquire these important skills.
TASIS has partnered with i2 Learning, an international provider of STEAM programs designed to engage and inspire young students. i2 has developed fun, hands-on courses in collaboration with MIT, Harvard, the US Naval Academy, and other world-class scientific and academic institutions to cover a range of STEAM topics, including engineering, genetics, robotics, computer science, mathematics, ecology, and more.
In February, students took part in immersive, hands-on programs that lasted a week, and worked together in small teams to address a series of challenges. With the emphasis on innovation and creativity, students were not tied to finding the ‘right’ answer, but were encouraged to risk, fail, and try again. Along the way, they discovered their own perseverance and problem-solving abilities.
Sixth grade students were introduced to the key concepts and skills of kinetic sculpture, including balance, gearing, energy sources, and design-oriented thinking. They used the work of Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, Piet Mondrian, and Henri Matisse as examples of various forms of moving sculpture. Each day they implemented the principles they learned as the basis for creating their own kinetic sculptures. At the end of the week they displayed their complete array of new skills, with each team demonstrating their large-scale, chain-reaction-type artwork for the community.
Fourth grade students spent their week engineering prosthetic devices. Today, people can regain the function of a missing limb, such as a hand or leg, with the aid of a prosthetic device. Students learned that engineers also use the same technology to create prosthetic devices for animals, such as dogs, horses, sea turtles, and dolphins. Considering important factors such as comfort, durability and functionality, students had the opportunity to develop prosthetic devices for a variety of species. The week culminated with groups using their biomechanical engineering skills to design a prosthetic tail for a unique species of fish, and a variety of limbs for humans and animals. The group proudly showcased their creations for parents to view.