Stem+ committee creates new electives

Courtesy of Vimeo user ISD 622.

Courtesy of Vimeo user ISD 622.

With the Course of Study released last week for the 2017-2018 school year, you may have noticed there are several new classes in the new category of STEM+. These electives are the result of work the STEM+ committee, began last year.

There are five completely new electives and two modified ones. They include: Art & Technology–an intersection, Film Studies, Multimedia Production, Robot Engineering, Entrepreneurship, The Science of Art and STEM+ Music.

Mathematics instructor Dr. Darren Kessner, one of the members of the committee, explained the idea of STEM+ is incorporating STEM with other fields like visual arts, performing arts and humanities.

“It is really about the interdisciplinary nature of innovation and technology. I feel that the STEM fields really need to be thinking in an interdisciplinary mindset,” Kessner said.

The committee consists of a variety of teachers and administrators in different fields. 

The members of the committee are science instructor Andrew Witman, Kessner, Assistant Division Director and Dean of Student Life Regina Rosi, Publications Advisor Jena English, Associate Director of Academic Technology Shauna Callahan, Assistant Head of School and Director of Upper School Laura Hotchkiss ’86 and a representative from each department. The committee worked to come up with a set of criteria to guide the kinds of courses that should fall under the STEM+ umbrella.

Hotchkiss explained the large benefit of having an interdepartmental approach on the committee.

“A variety of opinions can be challenging, but it can also be very generative. So you can really get some ideas that you never thought about. If you look at the Course of Study and you look at some of those additional courses, we did get some courses that are quite interesting,” Hotchkiss said.