The Shipley Magazine

Exploring Creativity in Middle School STEAM

Holly Caldwell
The Middle School STEAM program has undergone incredible expansion in recent years. The growing program allows students to explore their creativity as they learn how to operate new tools and technologies. STEAM teacher John Harris is excited about the future, and with good reason.

Making Connections
Mr. Harris sees STEAM as ideal for interdisciplinary learning: “We aim to connect the various disciplines. One collaboration involved the history department and the study of horticulture. Students created simulated floating gardens, or chinampas, which were used by the Aztecs as an early farming method.”

Creativity Wing
The STEAM curriculum and MakerSpace provide an environment where students can engage in the iterative design process from brainstorming to building. To that end, student schedules will allow for more integration between art and STEAM in 2022-2023. Harris stresses, “If a student wants to design sneakers and build a prototype, we want to make that dream happen.”

Cutting-Edge Technology
The adoption of new tools, machinery, and technology‚ such as a laser cutter, 3D printer, and band saw will help the department achieve its goal of streamlining projects from sixth through eighth grades. “By the time students reach the Upper School, we want everyone to be familiar with the technology—we have all the equipment, tools, and talent needed to get the job done,” Harris explains.

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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.