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Our new approach to STEAM

The British School of Beijing (BSB) Shunyi to attend STEAM Festival designed in collaboration with MIT

The British School of Beijing (BSB) Shunyi, together with other Nord Anglia Education’s international schools across China, will take part in a superhero-themed festival designed by the world-class university to inspire educational fun and curiosity 

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17-19 January 2019, Hong Kong — The British School of Beijing (BSB) Shunyi will take part in the first China region STEAM Festival, a Nord Anglia Education event where pupils explore STEAM subjects using a leading-edge, university-inspired model of learning.

Nine BSB Shunyi students from Year 6 and Year 9 will be attending this event together with Mr. Burkhill, our Primary Computing Leader.

NAE has launched a number of regional festivals and events across the organisation to bring more students closer to the work of its world-class partners. The STEAM festivals follow the success of STEAM Week @ MIT, an annual and extremely popular global event where four students from each NAE school go to the university to experience a week of STEAM-lead activities and challenges.

The Nord Anglia STEAM Festival, China 2019 is a fun yet challenging three-day event that will take place in Hong Kong. Students will have the opportunity to participate in competitions, code superhero games, design and test underwater robots, create a superhero gadget, experience incredible virtual reality scenarios and much more.

Each activity or challenge has been influenced by superheroes, which follows the same theme as this year’s MIT Challenges. The MIT Challenges are a series of activities designed by the university exclusively for NAE, and all NAE schools take part in the MIT Challenges.

NAE students have been preparing for the event since their launch in September 2018, creating Ironman-style wearable technologies and gadgets, to studying how an animal’s super powers can enhance human performance like Spiderman.

One of the festival’s highlights sees students team up to create a solution to a superhero-themed challenge inspired by the work of Professor David Wallace, who runs MIT’s famous 2.009 Product Engineering Processes class. Students will also group together to create “Superhero Squads”, to present their work in a style similar to Comic-Con, a convention that celebrates comics, art and culture.

Aimee Gillespie, coordinator for the NAE-MIT programme said the event’s agenda embodies MIT’s “mind and hand” philosophy together with the fun and excitement of STEAM learning.

“The STEAM Superheroes idea developed when I noticed the amazing work of MIT professors and students. I am eager to see how students take inspiration from their cutting-edge research as they develop their own superhero powers and inventions.”

Additionally, the aim of the festival is to further expose students to interdisciplinary learning and activities that require critical-thinking, collaboration, creativity and experimentation and designing solutions through trial and error, said Darren Sutton, Computing Teacher, STEAM Coordinator and Regional Lead for the NAE-MIT collaboration.

“Solving the complex problems that we will face in the future will require us to use different disciplines and combine that knowledge to create viable solutions,” said Mr Sutton, who is also a key organiser of the festival.

“It is crucial pupils are exposed to interdisciplinary learning, so they know how to come up with answers to some of the real-world problems we present them with in class.”

Richard Thornhill, Principal of The British School of Beijing (BSB) Shunyi said,

“The Nord Anglia STEAM Festival demonstrates the fantastic opportunities that being a member of the Nord Anglia family of schools brings to our students. Students from Nord Anglia schools across the China region will come together in a festival and celebration of interdisciplinary learning.

Our students have had their imaginations fired by our collaboration with MIT and the challenges they have undertaken at BSB. They are now taking this to the next level with their fellow Nord Anglia students in what promises to be an outstanding event. Solving the complex problems which face our world will be the challenge of the future. This type of creative yet practical and viable problem solving represents precisely the skills that our students will need as they move from school, through university and onto successful careers in the wider world.

Our students never cease to amaze us with their abilities and this festival is another opportunity for them to develop and indeed showcase their many talents.”

Nord Anglia Education chief executive Andrew Fitzmaurice said our curriculum, enhanced by MIT, brings excellence to the education experience we give our students and positively impacts their overall academic performance.

“We want to enable our students to develop the skills required for the jobs of the future,” said Mr Fitzmaurice, who will attend the opening ceremony of the China STEAM Festival.

“We want them to believe there is no limit to what they can achieve.”

Read more about our MIT Curriculum at BSB

MIT Programme Overview