Robotics and Engineering
Middle School students have the opportunity to take several levels of elective classes in both Robotics and Engineering. In Robotics, students explore LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot design and programming, learning to create custom attachments and program a variety of sensors (including color, touch, ultrasonic, and gyroscopic) as they solve increasingly complex obstacle courses and other challenges. Engineering students explore structural engineering (building things like towers, bridges, and boats), mechanical engineering (such as windmills, axles, and pulleys), and electrical engineering (such as simple circuits, batteries, and electromagnets. In High School, Robotics students explore more advanced robotic design, working independently with both VEX Robotics and TETRIX systems to explore more sophisticated mechanics and create solutions to more challenging engineering problems. Our most advanced Electrical Engineering occurs in our Physics 3 class, in which students explore advanced circuits design.
3D Design & Printing
We offer several levels of instruction in 3D Design and Printing in both Middle and High School. Middle School students learn the basics of digital 3D design for print and develop design skills as they explore scale and support, visual-spatial reasoning, 2D to 3D translation, functional vs. artistic design, modeling, and the math of 3D printing, including measurement, geometry, and coordinate planes. Working with software such as Tinkercad, SculptGL, and 3DView, students work on increasingly complex design projects and learn about the basic mechanics and operation of 3D printers. High school students have the opportunity to take either an introductory course for beginning 3D designers or to continue to hone more sophisticated design skills, including digital sculpting and code-based CAD modeling, to complete a variety of projects. High school students create adaptations for functioning prosthetics and construct working 3D printers as they master the mechanical and engineering processes that make these printers work.
Our school offers state of the art facilities. Our recently completed Innovations Center for Robotics and Design houses two Robotics and Engineering labs along with a Design Lab for 3D Printing and Coding/Programming classes. The Robotics and Engineering labs are also equipped for both wet and dry lab work, as are our other six science labs in the Upper School building. Our facilities include six 3D printers in our 3D printing lab, five 3D printers in our Genetics lab, and one 3D printer in the Makerspace that is housed in our Media Center. The Makerspace is open throughout the day for use by any student interested in working on a wide variety of projects, some of which are clearly defined with materials and instructions and other challenges which are completely open-ended and allow students to invent on their own and follow their passions.
Both Middle and High School students have numerous opportunities to pursue an interest in Robotics and Engineering as part of afterschool clubs. The Middle School's FIRST LEGO League Robotics club competes against a large number of regional schools, and Middle School student groups also take part in both Rube Goldberg competitions and a Makerspace Club (through our Media Center). Our High School Robotics team takes part in the FIRST Tech Challenge Competition, and our Engineering Club participates in live Rube Goldberg competitions, a video Rube Goldberg competition hosted each year by the Technion, and the TARC Rocketry Competition. Our students in both high school and middle school also have the opportunity to help lead afterschool clubs at the Upper School in Coding and Robotics for our Lower School students throughout the year, a unique learning and leadership opportunity.