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Academics
Upper School
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STEM X

THE PHILOSOPHY

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.
 
 
  • STEM X - Grade 6

    (Grade 6)
    In this course, students will apply engineering and design principles to the problems faced by ancient Romans. Students will progress through two units – monument and measurement. The monument unit will focus on the strength of concrete and arches, both alone and in concert. Students will recreate an ancient Roman recipe for concrete, and iteratively improve the recipe. Their arches, both semi-circular and catenary, will be tested for strength, and for a final test, students will make concrete bridges to see if their work holds in practice. The measurement unit will give students opportunities to learn the techniques of surveying, including by building a groma and a hodometer. Students will learn about distance, angle, and how to translate vectors to paper to create maps and courses. The culminating project for the measurement unit will be to track altitude change from the Merrimack River to the Ravine on campus, and use that to determine the viability of an aqueduct along the same route.
  • CODER X I - Grades 6 & 7

    (Grades 6 & 7)
    These courses 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.
  • Coder X II - Grades 6 & 7

    (Grades 6 & 7)
    These courses 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.
  • RomeX - the STEMpire

    Students will learn about plane and solid geometry through an outdoor surveying project. Using a hodometer and adapted dioptra, they will chart the Derryfield forest, track changes in course and inclination, and find an optimal route for a hypothetical Roman aqueduct. They will ultimately deliver a map of their surveys, a treatise (with Latin) on how to operate their tools, and present their optimal route to the Derryfield Triumvirate.
  • STEM X: Finance Literacy & Entrepreneurship

    (Grade 8)
    In this 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 Peter Talpey
    Peter Talpey
    Math Faculty Member
    Bio
  • Photo of Benjamin Wickett
    Benjamin Wickett
  • Photo of Steve Young
    Steve Young
    Bio

The Derryfield School

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