While the traditional education over-emphasizing fixed content and rote memorization disassociated with the problem solving of the authentic societal issues, at PAS, we have begun to implement Design Thinking – a creative but disciplined approach to the process of understanding a problem from the perspective of the end user. Students are tasked with solving real-world problems through a carefully structured process, with the teacher as a facilitator and the students doing in-depth research and planning. It is a technique that can be used by anyone to solve any problem, and definitely student-centered approach to learning.
While Design Thinking has been implemented by large corporation and government agencies in the professional world, starting from 2016-17 school year, PAS also started Design Thinking in one of our AP Seminar courses, Shaping the Future. We strive to integrate Design Thinking into our school curriculum to benefit our students from elementary to high school, high school as the priority, over the coming years, through which students will be equipped with the problem solving skills needed in the real world issues. Design Thinking in school curricula helps to develop children’s creativity and improve their thinking and innovative skills across disciplines. Students are trained to isolate problems, research on the background and identify the goals that need to be achieved, brainstorm on all possible solutions through the collection of data. This brainstorming step is where creativity steps in, as any suggestion or idea is taken into serious consideration, even what may seem like the most ludicrous idea may have its possibility in solving the problem.
Through the process of prototyping and revision, students iterate these two steps to come up with a solid solution to the problem. Such experience trains students to learn from failure and to appreciate it. It is a method of self-solution and self-discovery, which incorporates analytic and creative thinking. Since the Design Thinking process attempts to solve a human problem, it is not only personal and authentic, but also motivates students to work for a clearly defined purpose, making learning a meaningful process. The process of Design Thinking is a method to self-solution and self-discovery: providing students with the autonomy and opportunities to building creative confidence. At PAS, for the school year of 2017-19, we will build into our curriculum a specific time for Design Thinking. During this time, students will work on projects of their choice and take the challenge to become creative problem-solvers.
Welcome to a glimpse of the future! This is a project-oriented course in which students will learn how to design and build robots for solving real life problems. The tools we will be using is the LEGO Mindstorm kit and the engineering design process. This course integrates Math, Physics, and Computer Programming in a fun and engaging way. Students will recognize the critical role that robotics has played in modern society and identify the major development in the field. Students will learn how to device and implement the algorithms that control adequately a robot with the purpose of solving a real life problem. Students will also learn how to provide the robot with information about its environment using sensors and how to react using actuators. Students will apply and reinforce their knowledge of simple machines to design and implement power transmission and geared systems. Students will also explore wireless communication between robots, locomotion systems, manipulation mechanisms, basic artificial intelligence for robots, and fundamental design of electronic circuits.
The projects enclosed within the course will gradually present the students with increasing complexity of mechanics, algorithms, and electronics systems and will prompt students to look for solutions to real life problems in fields such as biology and engineering. Students will find useful ideas for designing their robots by observing nature. Students will also collaborate in teams to achieve their project’s objectives and fulfill the different roles available: builder, programmer, and designer. The course also makes especial emphasis applying the engineering design process and quality documentation that will allow faithfully replication of results.
This course is in conjunction with the maker activities that the students already participate in via their other projects such as in art & design. Students are given the opportunity to learn about the negative impacts of plastic proliferation and how to make a responsible change in the way plastics are consumed in order to create a more sustainable future. The upcycling lab at PAS is equipped with machines that will shred, extrude and form plastic materials into long-lasting objects and 3D printing filaments, thereby extending life to what would have otherwise become toxic waste. From keychains, coasters to furniture, sky is the limit to what the students will create in this course while cementing their appreciation for the environment and passing on the awareness to future generations.
Interested in starting your own company? Working in venture capital? Consulting for new businesses? You are in the right place. The Entrepreneurship Program exposes students to entrepreneurship management and aims to teach them how to build successful businesses. Students may complete the Entrepreneurship Program by taking three courses that build upon one another in content and in difficulty. Top students will be invited to a summer entrepreneurship capstone held in the United States and participants will be given the unique opportunity to meet and to work with successful entrepreneurs and professionals such as venture capitalists in the start-up space. All courses within the Entrepreneurship Program are integrative – they combine entrepreneurship concepts with core business theories related to management, marketing, finance, operations in management, accounting, and finance.
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