In response to inquiries about our innovative programming here at Cushman, I wanted to share some information on how we’ve been moving forward with our S.T.E.A.M. initiative, which embeds design thinking strategies in our courses and projects.
As many of you know, I am committed to facilitating real-life, hands on situations where students gain insight into the competitive marketplace they will soon enter, while developing compelling passions they want to pursue. Therefore, I continue to partner with parents and community members who are leaders in their fields since these mutually beneficial relationships have proven very successful.
For example, software engineer/Cushman parent, Marty Schultz, led a group of approximately 12 students (from 4th through 8th grade) in the design and marketing of a mobile device App, which is now available through iTunes. The result of this mentorship is not only a marketable product, but teamwork, camaraderie and inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve been inspired to place more programs like this into the Middle School curriculum. Marty Schultz is now teaching a middle school Computer Science course in which students are designing video games and 3-D animation via Alice software.
Please enjoy Channel 7’s story on our young entrepreneurs: WSVN News Coverage
In addition, this past fall kicked off a completely new way of teaching and producing our yearbook. Rather than using a proprietary software program owned by a yearbook publishing company, Cushman parent/photographer/production business owner, Jeff Schweiger, re-wrote a curriculum to emulate a real-life production environment. The focus is photography and composition, graphic design, creative page layout and publishing using industry standards like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.
Our Master Plan Architect working on development plans for the growth of our school, Merrill Romanik, and our Drafting Class Teacher, Mr. Raymond Lee, are leading Middle School students in the creation of their own architectural plans for our campus. Ms. Romanik debriefs students about our executive planning sessions and the students generate their own ideas to help address the challenges we face. A comprehensive look at what parcels The Cushman School currently owns, a CAD survey of the site and the basic zoning information, which includes setback and parking requirements, has also been shared with the class. Each student will be creating computer models in REVIT and will be sketching out their thoughts on the addition of a multipurpose/gymnasium building via a 3D model.
I want to thank those of you who have come into your child’s class or have mentored students individually by sharing your interests and professions. I continue to invite you to join this partnership and look forward to evolving our curriculum to meet marketplace demands and keep our students highly engaged while developing in them an entrepreneurial mindset.
I will update you as these and other opportunities and programs are further developed for your children.