Detroit Country Day School students have new opportunities to participate in programs that introduce artistry and collaborative creativity into traditional STEM disciplines.
Sponsored by Detroit Country Day
Today’s innovators are creatives at heart, working collaboratively in open workspaces, sharing ideas globally with other thinkers, and combining their STEM powers with artistry and creativity in new and exciting ways.
Today’s Google workers aren’t just software engineers or coders sitting in dark rooms lit only by computer monitors. They’re design-thinkers who spent 20 percent of their time developing passion projects. Many of today’s most inspired and inspiring trailblazers are communicators who design, craft, experiment, and pioneer in the light.
The addition of Arts to the traditional four pillars of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) yields a new acronym: STEAM. The integration of STEAM concepts and curricula has rapidly emerged as one of today’s most impactful and important educational trends. STEAM adds art and design to science, technology, engineering, and math to empower creatives and promote collaboration across disciplines. Recognizing the value of a STEAM approach to learning is just the first step. Innovative educators and institutions across the country are blazing new trails by developing programming that introduces new creativity and artistry into tech education, and by creating environments that facilitate STEAM learning.
Detroit Country Day School (DCDS) is leading the way in embracing this next-generation learning experience by empowering teachers to employ project-based learning that crosses all five disciplines. The school understands that liberal arts, fine arts, music, design-thinking, and language arts are critical components to innovation. DCDS is not just giving equal or more time to STEM or arts, they are actively incorporating artistic and design-related skills and thinking processes to student-learning.
DCDS has done this in part by providing students with opportunities to explore and create, and by providing them with venues to experience technology and the design process in environments that encourage risk-taking, problem-solving, and failure. From computer programming and robotics, to roller coasters and carnival games, to digital tools and technology, DCDS students have both structured and spontaneous opportunities for exploration, creativity and storytelling: finding new and exciting ways to interact with and influence the world around them. DCDS STEAM programming includes classes covering structural engineering, robotics, and 3D printing, and DCDS students have been finalists at the Michigan Design Council’s annual Michigan Design Prize for three years running.
DCDS has demonstrated its commitment to STEAM learning by developing inclusive learning environments: groundbreaking classroom spaces specifically equipped for STEAM exploration and projects. Some of those environments came online in the fall of 2018, when DCDS’s $14 million middle school renovation and expansion opened its doors to students.
The new Middle School features enhanced spaces and technology, with dedicated classrooms for each teacher, STEAM spaces for project-based learning, an instrumental music room, performance spaces, and more. More recently, DCDS celebrated the second phase of its expansion plans with a November 19th ceremonial ribbon cutting for an $18 million Lower School renovation. The renovation features charming neighborhood-style décor, with high-ceilinged classroom wings designed as Victorian, bungalow, or brownstone styling. A new innovation gallery incorporates a wet lab, a tinker lab, group study rooms, and a dedicated STEAM maker’s space, and the Lower School overhaul also includes a full-size gymnasium and a state-of-the-art cafeteria space.
Both projects are the result of DCDS’s ambitious VIVID campaign, a $33 million fundraising initiative designed to transform DCDS’s educational experience for current and future generations. The success of that campaign (which continues through 2021) is a validation of the school’s commitment to continuing to evolve and adapt to new ideas in ways that optimize learning for DCDS students.
Both facilities now feature state-of-the-art teaching spaces that have been comprehensively reimagined, infusing a powerful new energy that ensures DCDS will be able to engage with those students from pre-school through graduation in ways that are vibrant, cohesive, and fully aligned with modern-day STEAM learning concepts. Dedicated “Maker Spaces” allow students to create and share design projects of their own choosing, using a variety of new technologies introduced in the class. These hubs for innovation are designed to empower and inspire students, and fully prepared to successfully move into the modern workforce of tomorrow.
Perhaps DCDS Headmaster Glen Shilling says it best when he refers to the newly unified campus and upgraded STEAM learning tools and facilities as “a testament to our school’s commitment to providing learning opportunities—not just for current students, but for generations of students to come.”
If you’d like to learn more about DCDS or attend our Open House on January 28, 2020, please visit www.dcds.edu/openhouse.
Detroit Country Day School
22305 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills