The daVinci Steam Program
The daVinci Program is a project-based collaborative approach to learning science, technology, engineering, arts and math. This interdisciplinary, project-based learning program was piloted with 10th grade students in the 2015-2016 school year, and was expanded to 11th and 12th grades in the 2016-2018 school years. The daVinci program provides students with the opportunity to build skills in experimentation, analytical problem solving, collaboration, presentation, communication, and artistic representation through authentic and student-driven learning. It will provide meaningful and relevant learning experiences for students at honors, college preparatory and advanced college preparatory levels.
The goals of the program are to foster student’s enthusiasm for exploring science, engineering, art, and math through a variety of experiences including projects and problem solving. Students who “learn on their feet” and have a desire to learn in a creative, project-based environment should sign up for this program.
Students enter the daVinci program as sophomores, from recommendations given by both their freshman math and science teachers. If enrolled in the program, they will take the following sequence of courses:
daVinci Math 2 (627x)*
daVinci Science I - Chemistry (827x)*
any art class within the department of Fine and Performing Arts (2 times a week)
daVinci Math 3 (637x)*
daVinci Science II - Biology (837x)*
daVinci Engineering and Inventing
(567, 2 times a week)
(students are encouraged to continue their art exploration)
daVinci III STEAM Capstone Project (847x)
(students return to mainstream math and science classes)
*These are multilevel courses that cover the same content peers in other sophomore and junior classes are covering, but in a more exploratory manner (please see the description of the daVinci classroom below)
Is the daVinci Program for You?
Think about the following questions, and what kind of student you are...
- Do you feel comfortable learning on your own and formulating questions to further your understanding?
- Are you comfortable with uncertainty, and ok with failure if it leads to learning?
- Are you a team player?
- Do you feel comfortable sharing your ideas with other?
- Do you enjoy hands on learning or "learning on your feet"?
- Are you curious about the world of math, science, engineering and art, and how they all fit together?
- Do you think of yourself as a problem solver?
- Do you accept feedback and use it to grow as a learner?
- Do you enjoy putting multiple concepts together to solve a problem or create a product?
If you answered yes to most of the questions above, then you may want to consider the daVinci Program!
Not a Traditional ClassroomIn addition to the exploratory nature of the lessons, this program offers a variety of other opportunities:
- Students will collaborate with other students, teachers and TA's in the program on both long and short term projects that span all of their mutual classes.
- Students will engage in independent learning at home, and explorations and experiments in the classroom (flipped classroom)
- Learning experiences will move beyond the classroom space, and students will have opportunities to choose how, and in what context, they learn material.
- Since 2-3 courses are involved, our time is more flexible, and will not be limited to the traditional 55/75 minute classes. Occasionally we will use all three blocks together to do some team building, go on field trips, or invite guest speakers.
- Students will have a direct connection with industry, and will be part of a very powerful community within our school.