Nothing may be more relevant to success in the 21st century than fluency in the language of computers—code. By practicing mathematical thinking in math class and deductive reasoning and problem-finding in science, students are constantly honing the skills that support strong work in the applied sciences.
In nursery learning to code is as simple as putting together a caterpillar that wiggles in the directions printed on each segment. It’s an important lesson in procedural programming, and it’s fun!
As students progress through lower school, they learn about object-oriented code and begin to understand the architecture, power, and possibilities of the internet. With regular reinforcement of Quaker values, they also learn how to stay safe and be thoughtful, responsible digital citizens.
Students explore physical forces, engineering, fluid dynamics, circuitry and more in science class, where theory and practice are always intertwined in hands-on learning.
They also make regular use of Moses Brown’s 5,000-square-foot Y-Lab, a maker space open to everyone in the Moses Brown community that serves as a home for tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs of any age. While there, they often cross paths and interact with older students, and can see the ‘big kids’ tinkering away in the VEX robotics lab, which inspires them to imagine the inventions they could create.
Coding looks different in our Middle School. By practicing algorithmic thinking in math class, deductive reasoning and problem-finding in science, and translation and creativity in language classes, Moses Brown students are primed for success before they write their first line.
Students learn how to break a problem down into discrete, solvable chunks, combine small solutions into big ones, and build their way to programs that really work. They learn to plan, try, fail, and reevaluate on their own and in teams, contributing and listening to get the best that every teammate has to offer.
Students learn healthy habits, how to conduct oneself online, and most importantly, how to stay safe. After all, knowing what you should do is more important than knowing what you can do, and the first responsibility of Moses Brown students in a connected environment is to be good digital citizens.
For those students who want to do more than class time allows, there are clubs for coding and robotics that offer opportunities to collaborate, experiment, and make new friends.
With math and science electives, open access to the Y-Lab, and an ever-evolving selection of student clubs, Upper School students have as much structure and freedom as they would like to explore, tinker, and invent. In Discrete Math through Python Programming, students learn about social decision making, matrix applications, graph theory, counting techniques, set theory, and fractals.
Python Programming and Programming for the ArduinoTM give students experience using common software and firmware platforms, and Introduction to Robotics uses Mindstorms, Scratch, and NXT as fun ways to get code off the screen and actually doing things in the real world. Additionally, the regular reinforcement of Quaker values helps students learn to be thoughtful, responsible digital citizens.
With a VEX robotics team, chess club, and more, students have ample opportunities to stretch their abilities with interested faculty and like-minded friends.