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.”
KCD is laying foundation for STEAM program
People soldering kits at LVL1 on May 1
Hackerspaces are starting to change engineering education. Let’s put two University of Louisville Co-op interns in the LVL1 hackerspace! We are exploring how to get students working on hands-on projects sooner in the engineering curriculum.
As a Co-op at LVL1, you can contribute to an ongoing project or even launch your own project. The first Co-ops will start in summer 2012. You must be a Speed School student seeking a Summer 2012 Co-op to apply for this program.
If you’re seeking a Co-op position in Fall 2012, Spring 2013 or Summer 2013, stay tuned! There will be another application session for each of those semesters.
I ordered the parts we’ll need to do the first 5 experiments. I bought everything from Jameco. Here is the list of part numbers I used in case anyone is interested. We’ll start work next week.
I teach high school physics at Kentucky Country Day School. All of our freshman take physics, but there isn’t time to cover all the topics one would like. For this reason I also teach Physics II. It is taken mainly by seniors who want to learn about some of the topics that were omitted from the freshman class. Physics II is a conceptual physics course. Qualitative understanding is emphasized over calculation and I try to help the students develop their physics intuition through exercises like one might find in the book Thinking Physics. This year I decided to spend several weeks using the new Make: Electronics book. It takes the same approach of doing first to develop understanding over calculating starting with theory. The fact that it is totally hands on will appeal to my students, especially when senioritis starts to set in. I plan to post updates here about how it’s going and to share what I learn from the experience. Keep checking back if you are interested.