Each academic year, we strive for innovative additions to our teaching and learning environment. And although school is not in session during the summer, it is a busy time at Harrisburg Academy. Our directors of the Centers for Experiential Learning & Innovation often use summertime to plan new and exciting activities for our Middle and Upper School students. This past summer was no different. Within the Center for Technology & Entrepreneurship, a number of faculty members developed Harrisburg Academy’s new Robotics and Innovation Lab.
First… Robotics. For students who are intrigued by the engineering and mechanics of robots, this lab allows them to work in teams to meet the challenges of design and implementation. Developed around the philosophy of the Technology Student Association (TSA), of which the Academy is a member, students learn through challenging competitions and leadership activities. In designing, building, and competing with robots, students are engaged in the many disciplines of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), in which the arts provide a structure and means of communication for the ultimate success of science, technology, engineering, and math innovations. From the math and science components, to the creative, problem-solving artistic components, the robotics element of the Robotics and Innovation Lab is designed to enhance student’s understanding and ability in engineering and mechanics through exciting, head-to-head robotics contests.
The second element is Innovation. Members of the Academy community were attended the International Maker Faire in Queens, N.Y. in September, an opportunity which fits seamlessly into this new focus on innovation. Students of all ages, and their parents, had the chance to experience many new and creative inventions and talk to those who dreamed and designed them. Perhaps someday soon, Harrisburg Academy will have its very own Maker Faire, fostering students interest in bringing their original ideas to life.
Making a dream become a reality, even on small scale, develops a genuine sense of accomplishment.