Academy pg 1 2-8-18

WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock Academy Head of School Christopher Sandford said the addition of the South Campus will mean major growth in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) at the original North Campus.
Sandford said: “Thanks to the support of our corporate partners, especially SPIROL International, and many alumni, we will be officially opening the SPIROL STEAM Center.  In addition to specific labs for robotics and physics, the space will have an advanced makerspace. The creation of this space is in alignment with our mission and responsibility to prepare all students for a lifetime of learning by providing academic rigor, a safe environment, and a diversity of educational experiences.
This new space will allow us to continue and strengthen our great tradition of working with the local community and providing realistic educational opportunities for students. Although the STEAM Center is still under development, the possibilities of this new space has already allowed us to make new partnerships.”
He added the students have already worked with the Chamberlin Mill in Woodstock to create a model of its water turbine, using historic pictures and designs.  This work will assist in the preservation of this historic mill.  Students visited the mill, which dates back to the 1700s, and used the original designs to craft a digital model and, using a 3D printer, were able to create a working model of the turbine. The small model is about a 10th of the size of the original and can be used as an educational tool to demonstrate the historic mill technology in classrooms or at the mill.
Jeff Paul, co-owner of Whitcraft in Eastford, who connected Academy students to the mill restoration project, said “What’s really exciting is that the educational opportunities are accessible now and [the STEAM classes] will provide insights that will be valuable during the ongoing restoration of the mill.” This spring, architecture students at The Academy plan to recreate the entire mill with both digital and 3D printed models that Paul hopes can be used for classroom presentations and “to assist in creating architectural plans that could be used to support further mill development.”  This is an example of the opportunities our students will have in the new STEAM Center. 
In preparation for the STEAM Center, The Academy has joined an MIT Learning Through Making collaborative, Sandford said.  This collection of 15 New England schools meets regularly and shares ways to incorporate learning through making. In addition, staff members are developing specific plans and projects to enhance the educational experiences in their classes. The STEAM Center has inspired innovation across all content areas. As an example, students in the Pastry and Baking classes will design and create their own cake forms, which will bring additional skills and learning into this course.
Sandford said the academy is transitioning the traditional wood shop into an innovative makerspace to expand hands-on learning opportunities. This new space will provide the flexibility to incorporate both small and large construction projects (such as a solar car).  The current Construction Technology program includes four classes: Wood Technology, Advanced Wood Technology, Building Construction, and Exploration in Wood.  Over the last several years, the Woodstock Academy has seen a decrease in the overall enrollment in these courses, and increased enrollment in newer STEAM courses, especially CAD (computer aided design), multimedia, engineering, and robotics. “This new space will have a profound impact on many courses, thereby helping us meet our mission and help better prepare students for life after The Academy,” Sandford added.

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