New STEAM Electives at Derryfield

New STEAM Electives at Derryfield

Elaine Loft, Staff Writer

Ryan Tanner-Read, Dean of Academics, announced there will be three, new STEAM X (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) electives offered at Derryfield in the 2024-2025 academic year. In an introductory letter Tanner-Reed stated,

“These courses are open to all students from grades 9-12 and are a great way to become engaged in technology and design.  Do you wonder how things work?  Do you like to build things?  Do you want to explore new technology?  These electives will allow you to pursue these passions.”

Engineering Design Process (Grades 9-12): Students will be introduced to the iterative nature of the Engineering Design Process, and will work through it on a variety of projects. Using foundational engineering principles and hands-on practices, students will brainstorm, design, prototype, and develop solutions to real-world engineering problems. Engineering projects may include crafting a structure to protect an egg when dropped from a significant height, constructing a truss bridge with popsicle sticks, creating a water wheel or windmill to generate electricity, and designing an efficient assembly line.

3D Design (Grades 9-12): Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of 3D computer design and utilize shapes-based modeling software to push the limits of their creativity and technical understanding. They will also utilize Derryfield’s state-of-the-art makerspace to 3D print designs and construct final projects to satisfy specific criteria. Introductory engineering projects may include designing a statue that can print in a specified time, and creating gravity-powered and motorized race cars. As the term draws to a close, students will be tasked with identifying a specific problem, then developing and executing a unique solution to said problem. 

Engineering Alternative Energy (Grades 9-12): What is the future of energy? As humanity seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change, innovation in sources of renewable energy such as wind, hydro, solar, and nuclear will be vital. This course will explore the current state of these energy sources as well as promising new technologies. Engineering projects may include building mini wind turbines, hydroelectric generators, and solar-powered cars.

The STEAM X program at Derryfield introduces students to Design Thinking models that leverage science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (“STEAM”) to solve authentic problems. In a STEAM X course, students engage in hands-on design work as they tackle challenges and tasks. Whether it’s designing software, designing an investment tool, building a robot, or experimenting with wing design, by challenging students to explore the unknown, we aim to ignite student creativity and empower them to answer important world questions.

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