Hilltop’s S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) curriculum enhances the core subject area of learning in a variety of ways. First and foremost, our S.T.E.A.M. program fosters an environment where students can tinker, design, build, invent and create in a safe space where risks are allowed, failure is accepted, and growth is measured. We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to educate students for tomorrow’s world: one where we don’t know the careers that will exist. What we do know is that to survive in tomorrow’s marketplace our students will need skills that are adaptable to a variety of industries. At the foundation, we know those skills are good communication, the ability to collaborate, and a drive to think critically and problem solve.
Makerspace Design Labs
Hilltop is proud to support two Makerspace design labs on our campus. By definition, a “Makerspace” describes the learning environment where students can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials. At Hilltop, these unobstructed, adaptable work areas infuse our theme of Instruct, Inspire, and Innovate. Our students can step out of the normal classroom setting and with boundless opportunity for creativity and innovation they can collaborate, create, and inspire each other. The focus might be on electronics, robotics, woodworking, sewing, programming, or some combination of these skills.
The Makerspace Design Lab is equipped with:
Makerbot 3D Printers
Makey Makey Kits
The Maker Movement
Many Hilltop students have mastered the basics of WeDo Robotics. Lower School students skillfully assemble the robot, and create a code to demonstrate the basic mechanics. In the Robotics Challenge Enrichment Class students demonstrate a deeper understanding of coding by writing their own solution to test the mechanics. Working in teams, our students design, build and code a unique robot that can demonstrate how sensors can interact with the world around them.
Even our youngest students are exploring Robotics through Wonder Workshops Dash and Dot.
All students at Hilltop are exposed to the fundamentals of computer science through a dedicated 6-week coding curriculum in Kindergarten through Grade 8 and through lessons with preschool and prekindergarten students.
S.T.E.A.M. Integration Across the Curriculum
A 1-1 Chromebook program for elementary school students in Grades 1-4 is coming in fall 2017. This program will allow students, via Google Apps for Education, to create, collaborate, inform and publish independently and together. S.T.E.A.M. camps and after-school enrichment classes are offered to work with robot coding, Smart Tables, 3D design and iPad beta testing.