Windermere Preparatory School (WPS) is proud to announce a collaboration with the Massachusettes Institute of Technology (MIT). WPS will be enhancing its academic offerings with an innovation approach to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics), by incorporating MIT content into its curriculum. Two of our WPS teachers, Lower School Teacher Joseph Falcione, and Middle School Teacher Jamie Schoenberger, recently visited MIT to explore all that they had to offer, and prepare how they would be incorporating MIT into their individual classes. Here is a brief interview, and to learn more, please visit here and please look for additional updates in the months to come.
WPS: What was your experience like on your recent trip to MIT? What was your biggest take-away or ah-ha moment?
Joe Falcione (JF): I didn't know what to expect when I set out on the trip to MIT. I have been teaching for 25 years, and I NEVER would have expected to have an experience like this. It went far beyond me being a teacher going to a training program. It affected me personally as someone who is interested in the Sciences, and how our world is changing thanks to those who work as scientists in all areas every day. I was blown away by what I saw, heard, and experienced each day.
What I took back to WPS was simply - HOPE. I have the ability to share the present scientific world as well as the future scientific world to the most promising minds of today - my Lower School students. I brought back a refreshed passion to connect each of my students to the wonders of Science.
Jamie Schoenberger (JS): It was one of the most exciting weeks of my life! The culture at MIT is palpable from the moment you step onto campus - it's creative, collaborative, highly ambitious. They are eager to solve the big problems of the world. It's a very inspiring place to be.
WPS: What do you look forward to most about the MIT partnership with WPS?
JF: I look forward to the magnificent opportunities for our teachers and more importantly - for our students. These will surely make our current fire become an inferno of scientific learning and practices.
JS: I'm really excited to bring that culture here to WPS. The collaboration between NAE and MIT is all about enhancing student outcomes in STEAM subjects through the development of an authentic, problem-based, collaborative, student lead, and interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.
WPS: What is your first step in implementing the partnership into your classroom at WPS?
JF: I am working and meeting with the Fifth Grade team to implement a course plan on the topic of "Navigating the Future" with a focus on Self-Driving Cars and their effects on our roads and environment. We will have the students research the technologies in the design and functions of the cars as well as how the infrastructure of our city and local roads will need to be updated in order to properly communicate with the self-driving cars. We will culminate the course plan by sharing this information with the student body as well as the family community.
JS: This year, for the first time, Eighth Grade Science and Language Arts classes are teaming up to provide students with an exciting, authentic problem solving opportunity in place of normal exams. Students will attempt to solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions in current forms of transportation. They will present their proposed solutions in a TED Talk-style presentation we are calling "MIT Challenge: Navigating Tomorrow" that will be held on December 13 and 14. We can't wait to see what solutions they come up with!
This will be the second national brand collaboration for WPS. In addition to this new collaboration with MIT, WPS currently also collaborates with The Juilliard School in its Fine Arts Program. WPS looks forward to these unique partnerships to provide en even stronger academic offering and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the students we serve through the global Nord Anglia Educational network.