STEM Beyond The Classroom: Creating Authentic Outreach Programs That Build Bridges Between The Classroom And Real World Challenges
Abstract:The ISF Academy was founded by Charles Kao, a Nobel Prize laureate. In 2011, the Shuyuan programs were established at The ISF Academy to operate both as a “school within a school” and as a “school outside the classroom.” The Shuyuan programs work together with the IBO Science and Technology subject areas to develop comprehensive and challenging opportunities that address the 14 Grand Engineering Challenges. The goal is to establish co-curricular programs that go beyond the taught curriculum and support STEM curricula.
Several programs outside of the classroom include an onsite robotics researcher, underwater and land based robotics programs, field trips, whole school food waste composting and the implementation of an energy tracking system. Relationships with several local universities allow students to work closely with professors in research settings and, annually, a leading researcher gives a keynote speech to our students. Other signature Shuyuan programs have developed international strategic relationships with the NRI at Cambridge University, where students spend several weeks studying science and civilization in China using primary source materials. Additionally, Shuyuan has supported extension opportunities for classroom teachers with institutional partnerships that include the British Council, governmental organizations, local universities, corporations, and NGOs.
In conclusion, the overall goal of the Shuyuan Programs is to provide experiential learning opportunities that challenge conventional curriculum design in a manner that is supportive and innovative!