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Our STEM X department offers courses with a strong project-based component that help students grow their capacity to be confident and creative problem solvers in a fast-paced world where the rapid evolution of technology presents an astounding range of challenges and opportunities. STEM X draws inspiration from problem solving methods at innovative organizations around the world, ranging from Google X to MIT. The courses are interdisciplinary in their application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (“STEM”) and STEM X students learn how to tackle the unknown variable in a situation, or “X,” by discovering interesting problems, experimenting with novel creative solutions, documenting their work and sharing their findings.
Participants in the program immerse themselves in projects that range broadly from developing and prototyping products using physical and digital technologies to coding in a world marked by the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence. Students work both individually and as part of teams to develop the research skills, analytical rigor, creative thinking and entrepreneurial attitudes needed to investigate and tackle real world problems in original ways.
(Grade 6) This introductory course is part of the STEM X program at The Derryfield School, which teaches students how to solve for the unknown “X” by discovering interesting problems, applying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills to experiment with novel solutions, documenting their work and sharing their findings. The course is structured around a series of individual and team design challenges that allow students to explore a variety of problem solving techniques and tools, all the while encouraging them to develop the research skills, analytical rigor, creative thinking and entrepreneurial attitudes needed to investigate and tackle real world problems. The topics covered will include the engineering design process, 3D printing, app building, robotics coding and pitching business startups.
This course will introduce students to programming using two applications: The Swift Playground App using the Learn to Code lessons by Apple and the micro:bit App. The course will begin using the Swift Playground lessons which highlight key coding concepts while demonstrating how coding is a way of thinking that can be applied to other subjects and everyday life. Students will write real code using Swift, a powerful and intuitive programming language; develop computational thinking skills; and learn programming constructs. Students will be introduced to variables, types, commands, loops, functions, arrays and other concepts aligned with the Computer Science Teachers Association's (CSTA) Computer Science Standards for Level 2. Along with developing programming skills, students will engage in project-based coding using the micro:bit microcontroller board in the MakeCode coding environment. This part of the course uses a project-based curriculum, with a maker philosophy, that provides a context for learning coding and computer science concepts through the act of making a project.
Marco Masoni, Ed.D., J.D. is the Dean of Innovation at Derryfield and teaches STEM courses in grades 6 to 12. He also coaches the robotics team and chairs the school’s STEM X department. He was born in Washington, D.C., and holds dual US and Italian citizenship. He is passionate about rethinking the way that we teach kids, and has successfully developed a system of instruction called "X Learning," which is centered around solving for "X," or the unknown, across disciplines. Previously, he worked as an instructor and Director of STEAM at some of the top independent schools in Los Angeles. He also developed curricula, designed learning platforms, and trained teachers at the Center for Civic Education. In 2011, he co-founded the education startup, Einztein.com, which partnered with Harvard and Stanford Universities and was recognized by SXSWedu for its groundbreaking innovation. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership at USC in 2015, specializing in STEM learning and educational psychology. He has a J.D. from Georgetown and a B.A. from NYU, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to his career in education, he practiced law and served as VP of business affairs for Comerica Entertainment Group. He enjoys writing as a hobby, and in 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Peter Talpey has been teaching math at The Derryfield School since 2017. He grew up in Rochester, NY and attended Hamilton College in Clinton, NY where he studied mathematics and computer science. During college, Peter simultaneously started a life in Northwestern Wyoming near Yellowstone Park. There he has worked for a family-owned dude ranch and hunting outfitter in the Absaroka Mountains for the past eight summers. In an effort to merge his love for math and the mountains, Peter attended a program the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, CO prior to coming to Derryfield. There he was a student teacher in math and led two-week backcountry trips as part of an experiential education curriculum. In the classroom, Peter can be seen excitedly gesturing at a beautiful proof of derivative rules on the whiteboard. Outside of the classroom, Peter can be found engrossed in his kitchen, riding his mountain bike, or scheming his next summer out west.
Steve Young grew up in Queens, NY, where there were snow days, but far less often. He received Masters degrees in Math from University of Wisconsin-Madison and Computer Science from NYU, and enjoyed careers as an Actuary and an Information Technologist, before returning to his first love, education. After ten years of teaching at Hunter College High School in Manhattan and looking for parking in Brooklyn, he moved to his wife's homeland of New Hampshire and was lucky to find a home at Derryfield. Steve’s hobbies include the usual nerd pursuits of board games, trivia, pointing out where you lost a minus sign, and realizing a newfound passion for Puritan chicken tenders.
Located in Manchester, NH, The Derryfield School is a private day school for grades 6-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.