STEM & Explore!
Schools for Applied and Innovative Learning
The Schools for Applied and Innovative Learning (SAIL) are designed to build on DC’s liberal arts educational framework. SAIL is comprised of three components: The School of Arts, the School of Humanities and Entrepreneurship, and the School of STEM.
Several exciting curricular experiences are in place at the Lower School which invite students to step into the world of SAIL’s interdisciplinary, collaborative, and product-oriented courses.
For example, in art class, our students study Leonardo daVinci’s masterpieces in science and art, learning how his liberal arts mind allowed him to revolutionize so many parts of daily life; they create artwork that reflects their experiences with nature in our beautiful outdoor classrooms.
Students in grades 2-5 enjoy weekly STEM classes that foster collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving as students work through the design cycle to create a product that meets a need. Our students are engaged with a breadth of problems, including a super hero unit during which they develop a glider for a super hero that will allow for quick getaways, design a helmet to protect their superhero’s head during the inevitable collisions that are occupational hazards of super heroes, and design a web to catch bad guys that is able to hold a given amount of weight. The excitement our students have about STEM is yielding benefits in all areas of their education. They are developing greater confidence, high-level thinking, and enthusiasm about learning.
We also get our families involved in this unique learning with Explore! Nights. These evenings provide our community with opportunities to explore topics within the Fine Arts, Humanities and STEM disciplines. Through discovery and hands on experiences, students and parents participate in fun evenings of learning together! Our inaugural Explore! Fine Arts Night included workshops on the art of mime, voice aerobics, and storytelling through dance that were led by high school students. Family field trips round out our Lower School SAIL opportunities, with excursions to a glass blowing studio, the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center. All of these learning experiences build on our Lower School students’ core learning in the liberal arts, creating a complementary program of learning that is relevant, engaging, and developmentally appropriate.