Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) are the pillars of an education at The New School. STEAM learning moves through three phases throughout a student's development at The New School.
We want our students to leave The New School with a better understanding of their drive in engineering and encourage them to become lifelong learners who enable themselves as world-citizens. — Keith Cameron, Director of Technology at The New School
Phase one takes place in our Tinkering Studio. Each day in the Tinkering Studio is an opportunity to be curious. This is a safe space for our students to ask questions, discover how things are connected and work together, as well as interact and "tinker" with everyday materials while learning best practices in safety. By exploring different materials and tools, students build foundational skillsets that are further built upon during their New School education. STEAM lessons are integrated into each classroom and are cross-curriculum.
Students enter phase two in middle school through our Innovation Center. As students enter middle school, they transition from "tinkering" into full "making." In phase two, students use the foundational skills built in the tinkering lab to build a project. Students will begin using professional-grade materials and tools in design, creation and programming. By the end of the year, students should have an idea of what they are passionate about to begin specializing in their skillsets.
Phase three is continued in the Innovation Center, where students have moved from making to specialization. We expect our STEAM students to take ownership of their projects and begin group-work where they become a specialist in their field for their team. We believe that self-driven projects are both a unique and integral part of a New School education. Phase three is a culmination of asking questions in tinkering, an understanding of the process of design and construction of projects with a strong specialization in one to several skills that they can use to contribute to a team project.
Over the years, students are given the opportunity to excel and pursue their passion that will continue to provide to them a sense of direction for their years in college or continued education and to careers beyond.