At Kirby Hall School, STEM activities are an important component of the curriculum at each of our grade levels.
STEM stands for the collective fields or study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It involves a great deal of hands-on work, trying out new things, and collaboration among students.
The ways in which STEM learning benefits children are countless, but here are a few of our favorites:
- It inspires ingenuity and creativity.
- It encourages exploration and experimentation.
- It fosters teamwork and communication.
- It teaches problem-solving and adaptation skills as well as career-readiness for many engineering or high-tech industries.
In addition to our robust Saxon Math and Core Knowledge Science curriculums, lower school students have dedicated MakerSpace time each week where they build and tinker both with everyday objects (think…mousetrap cars and stomp rockets) and pre-fabricated STEM kits. They often work on projects inspired by MakeyMakey technologies, as well as begin to learn about early coding skills.
Middle schoolers continue to have regular time in Kirby Hall’s MakerSpace facility and also have the option of enrolling in a robotics elective. Recently in October, and to coincide with COTA’s Formula One race week here in Austin, students stepped up to the challenge of dismantling a car engine and working together as a group to reassemble it.
This year upper elementary and middle school students have had the new opportunity to sit in on KHS STEM Talks, a series featuring frequent guest speakers from a variety of careers in the STEM world. So far, we have enjoyed virtual visits from women involved in aeronautics and space exploration with both Lockheed Martin and NASA as well as a presentation on Central Texas herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles).
Additionally, upper school students are eligible to earn advanced college credits through The University of Texas at Austin’s OnRamps program. Several students this year are enrolled in OnRamps Computer Science and OnRamps Chemistry courses led by university professors.
Kirby Hall School is a private college-preparatory school located in Austin, Texas where we have been educating and nurturing young minds since 1976. Kirby Hall offers a challenging, and inclusive, curriculum, as well as small class sizes for students in Pre-K4 through 12th grade. To learn more about Kirby Hall, please visit us here.