With some help and inspiration from LVL1, Kentucky Country Day School is developing a Fab Lab for STEAM.
The ideas behind KCD’s STEAM initiative come from an enthusiastic group of teachers in math, science, and the arts, including two teachers who are also founding members of Louisville’s LVL1 hackerspace. KCD already has STEAM projects in place in the curriculum, including middle school robotics classes, a rocketry project in upper school physics, the middle school Scratch programming unit, and a middle school elective that explores math through origami. Our STEAM curriculum will build on these existing strengths; we are already planning to extend the Lego Robotics curriculum into the Lower School. Moving forward, we will continue to introduce new STEAM units and courses across all divisions.
We are particularly excited by plans to develop a fabrication laboratory — or Fab Lab — which will provide a home for many STEAM-based projects. Our goal is to equip this Fab Lab with computer-aided design workstations as well as cutting-edge tools such as a laser cutter and 3D printer. These devices will allow students to design and manufacture many of the components of the projects they will be working on.
This year, KCD teachers have been studying of the role of 21st century skills in our classes. Dean of Studies Anne Glosky points out that “STEAM curriculum enhances the core 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Our faculty is excited about expanding our STEAM offerings and continuing to provide an innovative education to our students.”