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Academics
Upper School
Curriculum

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STEM X

THE PHILOSOPHY

Our STEM X department introduces students to interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving that leverage Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (“STEM”) to solve for X by tackling the unknown variable in a situation, or “X.” Ultimately, the goal is to help students develop their capacity to discover interesting problems, experiment with novel creative solutions, document their work and share their findings. In a STEM X course or activity, students are encouraged to adopt an innovator’s mindset when they problem solve, whether it’s designing software, building a 3D printed prototype or pitching their ideas like entrepreneurs. By challenging students to explore the unknown, we aim to ignite student creativity. In the words of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, speaking about space exploration, “Once the impossible becomes possible, that opens up the floodgates of human imagination.” 
  • STEM X - Grade 6

    STEM X: Design Thinking (Grade 6)
    In this trimester course, students will apply engineering and design principles to the problems faced by ancient Romans. As students progress through two units, monument and measurement, they will develop tests for strength and durability as a metric to improve materials, and they will have opportunities to learn the techniques of surveying. Through the latter part of this project based course, they will learn about distance, angle, and how to translate vectors to paper to create maps and courses. 
  • Computer Science: CODER X I - Grade 6

    Computer Science: Coder X I (Grade 6)
    In this trimester course, students learn about computer technology and the fundamentals of computer programming. Students learn what modern computers are and why they are useful. Students also learn the fundamentals of programming using MIT’s Scratch programming language. Students create animated movies, build arcade-style video games, and develop challenging brain games while learning how to write event-driven programs using Scratch. This course is designed to be a fun and engaging introduction to the world of computer technology.
  • Computer Science: CODER X II - Grade 7

    Computer Science: Coder X II (Grade 7)
    This trimester course will introduce students to programming using two applications: the Swift Playground App and the micro:bit App. Students 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. Along with developing programming skills, students will engage in project-based coding using the micro:bit App. 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.
  • STEM X: Finance Literacy & Entrepreneurship

    STEM X: Finance Literacy & Entrepreneurship (Grade 8)
    In this trimester course, students apply math practically, building their financial literacy. Widely regarded as one of the most important sets of life skills, basic understanding of the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, debt and investing will impact every part of a students life during and beyond school. Example topics include consumer skills, budgeting, credit, saving, investing, and financing life after high school. Through engaging resources and activities, students will practice the skills to get started on the right track to effectively manage their personal finances!

Faculty

  • Photo of Steven Pankratz
    Steven Pankratz
  • Photo of Mia Ek
    Mia Ek
    Technology Integrationist
  • Photo of Thomas Eng
    Thomas Eng
    Bio
  • Photo of Steve Young
    Steve Young
    Bio

The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715