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A Shared Vision of STEAM at SSIS

A Shared Vision of STEAM at SSIS
Tanya Olander

As the construction of our new High School STEAM Design Center has reached impressive heights, an equally exciting energy is taking place among our educators in all divisions. They are not just talking about STEAM, they have been busy exploring the many ways that it weaves into the fabric of our learning environment. 

But what exactly is STEAM, and how does it impact our students' educational journeys? STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. And we are looking at these subject areas as creative forces that foster critical thinking, creativity, and a love for learning to make sure that our students not only face the future but create it, innovate it, and lead it. 

Pioneering a Legacy

Pioneering new efforts and breaking new ground, just as our visionary founders did over 25 years ago, is part of the SSIS legacy. In the same way today, our educators are evolving their teaching practices to ensure our students are not just learners but innovators, creators, and global leaders. 

During a recent full-faculty meeting led by our Director of Educational Technology, Don McNamee (pictured at left in the cover image), our teachers crafted STEAM stories, imagining how their practices can evolve.

Faculty from our three divisions gather to explore and envision the many opportunities for STEAM at SSIS during Mr. McNamee's recent meeting.

Beyond the Classroom Walls

“SSIS won’t only be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities,” shares Mr. McNamee. “Our students will have access to courses that are not taught at any other school in Vietnam. They will be able to conduct scientific research and solve real-world problems to apply their learning. Imagine a biology class where students are not only learning, but are able to apply research, conduct experiments, and contribute new ideas and insights to other scientists around the globe.” 

Snapshots of Taipei American School’s Tech Cube from Mr. McNamee and Dr. Moran’s recent visit.

A recent visit to Taipei American School (TAS) where he toured their Tech Cube with SSIS Head of School Dr. Moran, provided even more inspiration as they met with expert educators in the domains of Artificial Intelligence, Cluster Computing, Mechanical Engineering, and Research in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Visits such as the trip to TAS are not just about inspiration; they are about forging partnerships, sharing knowledge, and placing SSIS in a vibrant international context of learning and innovation. 

A Glimpse Into the Future

Later this Fall, SSIS parents and students in High School will find new and exciting course offerings in the updated HS Program of Studies - an agility unique to SSIS and enabled by the breadth of our course offerings that include AP, IBDP, and SSIS courses.

We are extremely grateful for the opportunity from our Board to not only grow but to expand our course offerings to meet changing demands,” says Dr. Catriona Moran noting that in recent years there’s been a significant shift in university degrees offered to students across STEAM domains, particularly in computer science, engineering, mathematics, biology, and physics and that these investments will ensure our students are ready to enter and pursue those fields with success.

STEAM promotes critical thinking and collaboration, two of the skills and dispositions articulated in our Profile of Learner. Here, Grade 2 students work together during their Health Fair.

As our STEAM programs grow, the impact will be felt across the entire school. Each division will see new and improved spaces for collaboration, innovation, and program development, as well. And as illustrated by the stack of STEAM stories developed during the recent Vision session, our teachers are full of inspiring ideas to nurture our students’ inquisitive minds. 

We can’t wait to share more insights from all corners of our campus as we explore the creative and limitless possibilities for our students!

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