(P) Teaching Innovation at International School of Bucharest
The current pandemic placed schools in the midst of numerous debates about the need of reinventing and innovating the education system. Let’s face it, the role of education has never been more critical, or more uncertain. We don’t know what the world will look like in the future; education’s role is to provide the students with the skills to face an ever-changing and uncertain world.
Here, at ISB, we are committed to enabling students to reach their full potential and develop skills to become independent, respectful and caring adults who will be successful and contribute to global society.
To support our mission and to allow our students the proper space and time for innovation and creativity, this year we inaugurated the Innovation Hub. Its purpose is to provide our students with the opportunity to have hands-on experience and encourage collaboration in a creative and stimulating environment.
The benefits of such a creative space are numerous, it:
- Creates a stimulating environment where teamwork and collaboration are encouraged.
We all know that innovation emerges from teams and networks, not groups. The Innovation Hub has been designed as a space where creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication blend in with the use of technology to develop innovation skills in our students. By talking through ideas and problem-solving as a team, students are more likely to be creative and innovative and come up with brilliant projects which will be of practical use in daily life. The Innovation Hub is the place where Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) come together; teachers use the interdisciplinary and applied approach to teach these subjects.
The Hub is equipped with ten 3D printers and C&C Machines which allow the students to design, print and cut any material. The students can design and construct drones, Formula 1 model cars or they can design their own robots. By using microcontroller kits, they can build all sorts of projects, ranging from creating a hand motion controlled car to building their own alarm system which could be monitored from the internet.
- Supports Project-Based Learning
Project Based Learning is at the centre of our curriculum. This hub is used by all year groups from Early Years to Primary School to IB Diploma Programme Students. ISB students use cutting edge technology and practical skills to turn the knowledge they have acquired during their Geography, History, Science, Mathematics lessons into very interesting projects. We encourage the students to take part in different competitions such as Lego League Competition or Robotics and Programming Competitions, Science (FirStep) or Infomatrix.
- Skills and knowledge are equally important.
“It is not the knowledge or ideas, but the learner's construction of this knowledge and ideas that is critical”. (John Hattie)
During their time spent in the Innovation Hub, students will acquire a basic understanding of electronics, input-output control, sensors, building basic circuits, coding programmes and mechanical engineering. They will also have a deeper understanding and a solid foundation of the product design process.
As educators, we need to make sure that our students are prepared with the set of skills required to face uncertainty and to be prepared for jobs that do not yet exist. This is the reason why providing relevant education* has become very challenging and paramount nowadays.
What does relevant education really mean? What will be the jobs of the future? Can artificial intelligence replace humans? We don’t have the answers to all of these questions, however, we do know that innovation skills come very handy when we need to adapt to personal circumstances or environmental changes.
At ISB, we feel that as a community, we need to provide our students with relevant and holistic education to face the 21st-century challenges: exploring and developing wisdom and compassion in our students, as well as STEM education.
(p) - This article is an advertorial.