American School of Warsaw Opens New Design Center



Toby Brunt, Communications Specialist, American School of Warsaw, Poland


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Studying design at the middle school and high school levels just received a boost thanks to the opening of a new purpose-built space.

American School of Warsaw students now have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, robotics, and electronics in addition to traditional workshop tools in the newly completed Design Center, the only one of its kind in Poland.

Responding to today’s increased emphasis on technology and innovation, the school decided to expand its existing design programs and to hire a specialist teacher from the United States to lead the new center.

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At the opening ceremony, center head Adam Campbell said, “It’s a culmination of eighteen months of planning, building, and outfitting a center for innovation, problem solving, and design. We have set this shop up so that students can create anything.” Students on the school’s design program are expected to identify an authentic design problem themselves and then solve it through academic research, modelling, critical thinking, and creativity. “Through this new type of learning,” Mr. Campbell said, “students develop vital skills like collaboration, innovation, and resilience—the kinds of skills that universities and employers are looking for.”

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Students also are encouraged to design and manufacture tangible products related to work they are doing in other classes such as art, math, and science. During one excursion to a local nature reserve, students identified a need for animal habitats to support local wildlife. The students later constructed those habitats and donated them to the reserve. Students also have built model bridges and air-powered rockets, and the robotics club frequently attends international competitions. On April 27, in association with Make Magazine, a School Maker Faire was held.

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Published in ISS NewsLinks: Volume XXXII Number 3

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