The SISD school wants to be at the forefront of educational innovations, so it has decided to appoint an innovation coordinator (Mr. Jacobus de Leeuw) and a sustainability coordinator (Ms. Helen Milner) with whom we have maintained in order to to improve. understand how these values are instilled in everyday life and why it is essential to transmit these values from an early age.
What is the STEAM curriculum and how is it taught at SISD?
JdL: The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) program is taught following a cycle of research to solve real-world problems. Students work around a problem, to find information about it, to understand who it affects and to try to find solutions. Once the complexity of the problem is understood, students use engineering design (or engineering design) to create real models or prototypes and try to find solutions to the problems they identified earlier in their brainstorming. Through engineering design, students can use the concepts and knowledge of STEAM to demonstrate their learning. Thus, students develop transversal skills that cover all elements of STEAM.
Why do you think it is important to develop STEAM skills in students and why is it important for the STEAM curriculum to be transdisciplinary?
JdL: For our children to understand and solve the modern problems they will face, students must develop qualities such as perseverance and adaptability; skills they develop through STEAM lessons. Because STEAM is transversal, students are able to use the skills of different disciplines in a variety of challenges they will face. This is illustrated, for example, when a student decides to use a coding platform to demonstrate their English writing skills, or when a student demonstrates their learning of math with music. By demonstrating this interdisciplinarity, we know that he has acquired the necessary skills and that he has understood the problem as a whole. This is part of a program based on learning and understanding concepts, and based on practical skills rather than pure knowledge.
Why is it so important to pass on sustainable and ecological values, and start at an early age?
HM : While the world is in turmoil (depletion of resources, climate change, etc.), it is time to rethink our methods of operation to imagine a more environmentally friendly model of society. In this sense, the school must play a role in the transmission of values and ecological education. As educators, we have the best tools at our disposal to teach our little ones to live more sustainably. The future generation must be trained to become eco-responsible and environmentally conscious citizens who can understand the urgency of environmental responsibility. The transmission of ecological values must be done through all subjects, and must extend far beyond our classrooms. We have a responsibility to nurture these ecological values from an early age, equipping students from the beginning with real-world skills that they can use throughout their lives to improve the planet and shape a better future. .
What specific initiatives have you implemented in ISSD?
HM : We are implementing many initiatives within the school to promote sustainable development.
First of all we have an organic garden where we compost our waste. We also have a “Green Team”, made up of students of all ages, who oversee all recycling activities within the school.
We celebrate and educate our students on the many international days related to ecology (Water Day where our community has taken the oath to reduce water waste, Recycling Day or Earth Day where our students came with zero waste bins, etc.)
Finally, we promise to plant new flowers in our garden, as well as seeds of “Ghaf”, the emblematic tree of the United Arab Emirates.