At Stamford American School Hong Kong, preparing children to succeed in tomorrow’s world is a top priority. Our STEMinn program combines STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching principles with a focus on innovation to give children the core skills needed for their future work. By incorporating innovation into STEM, students have more opportunities to go through the design cycle (designing, creating, building and evaluating) turning their ideas into a reality and changing the theoretical into something practical.
The evaluation phase allows students to understand the importance of testing ideas to identify and overcome challenges by learning from failures and mistakes to increase their resilience.
During small scale and large scale projects, children learn other valuable skills such as teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
That is why we offer a problem-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMinn) Program to challenge students in these disciplines through critical thinking and real-world application. This interdisciplinary curriculum is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and enhanced by AERO and Common Core Plus standards.
Commencing from 5 years old, Pre-Primary (Kindergarten) students study and research five units of study a year, progressing to nine units of study in Grade 5. Laying strong foundations in these disciplines prepares our Elementary students for success in the highly challenging Physics, Biology and Chemistry courses offered in Secondary.
STEMinn is driven by skills and concepts as well as by content. Students actively participate in the hands-on design and production of their ideas, whether improving on an existing idea or realizing a dream, conventional or off-the-wall. Dedicated STEMinn facilities allow our students to practice their practical work, create and test prototypes and think like a scientist while access to a leveled STEMinn library in every classroom builds science literacy.
A large-scale project for lower elementary was part of our “Light Up Learning” event where students gave multimedia presentations about renewable energy and built solar lights to donate to Papua New Guinea. Grade 4 to 7 students designed, built and tested various styles of boats starting with a visit to the Volvo Ocean Race. Life-sized boats built by the Grades 6 and 7 students were even put to the test in the Stamford swimming pool!
Examples of small-scale STEMinn projects are: making solar ovens, building geometric shapes with 3D pens, circuit making, prototyping and making models using low tech tools. The three pillars of the program guide all projects: Imagine, Design, Create for generating innovative outcomes. The STEMinn program nurtures other tech skills such as coding, robotics and using a variety of Apps to bring ideas to life across disciplines including augmented reality. This combination of technology and building a strong foundation of critical thinking skills, problem-solving and collaboration skills ensure that students are ready for the challenges of life beyond their schooling.