EXPANDING BY DESIGN
The fall of 2016 will launch the third year of design thinking in our school. Since inception the 9th-grade design course has steadily expanded. In its first year, the class was offered for one semester and focused on the basics of design thinking. Last year, the course lasted a full year, introducing research into the design process. This year
will feature another enhancement: the incorporation of
computer science. In design teacher Barbara Abécassis'
discussions with Joel Cohen, the high school principal
was quick to point out that computer science should not
be offered as a stand-alone skill, but rather as a complement to numerous disciplines. Both agreed that students
would be more likely to enjoy and succeed in the design
program if they could apply skills to the production of a
Last year saw our sophomores continue design work–
in English only. This year the French track will also offer
design as an Option. Meanwhile, the students who be-
LEARNING BY DESIGN
gan their design journey as freshmen two years ago will
have the chance to pursue design tech in 11th grade,
under the International Baccalaureate umbrella. As a re-
sult, they will be tested in design for the first time. Over
the course of their remaining two years at International
High School, they will build multiple projects, culminating in a final design their senior year. They will build that
project from concept to realization, with guidance from
Abécassis, after drawing from any number of design
disciplines: architecture, kinetic movement, energy efficiency, industrial and product design, to name a few.
The Design Faire on April 29 highlighted schoolwide
projects that connect science, technology, engineering,
art, and math. Student work included a variety of practical applications designed from concept to realization—
projects like mechanical toys, smart self-watering planters, and vehicles powered by wind and solar energy.
Read on for inspiring displays of student ingenuity and
resolve. Given the exploits of our students in the first two
years of our design program, this year promises to bear
even more fruit!
THE DESIGN FAIRE
The Design Faire on April 29 highlighted student projects
including mechanical toys, smart self-watering planters,
and vehicles powered by wind and solar energy.