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Beyond STEM

Ready for a New World

Why Go Beyond STEM?

The nature  of work is evolving exponentially fast—and what it will mean to have a successful career “STEM” is already moving beyond core STEM skills. Google’s study of its own best employees demonstrated that STEM skills are not enough: the future of work will focus not just on technology and its capabilities, but also on human needs and how they can be met. 

People who will succeed, and be sought after, will have attributes including: leadership, critical thinking, design thinking/problem solving skills, empathy, and the ability to collaborate in multi-disciplinary groups and to be a leader through the influence of others. Beyond STEM. 

This is why, at Harley, we don’t use the label STEM to define the way we teach science or technology, engineering or math. Our goal is to empower students to approach questions in a rigorous, holistic way, to take human factors into account and then to use the right skills and tools to innovate answers. We aim to move students’ thinking far beyond what you can find in a prescribed kit with set directions to follow.

Grade 5: Wolf Tank Project

Wolf Tank is much like “Shark Tank,” a popular TV show that gives entreprenuers the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of business people and investors. Middle School students in Grade 5 were given the opportunity to develop their own inventions—from prototype to pitch.

Starting with the Question

When disciplines converge, amazing things happen. When students have learned how to question, imagine, prototype, and problem-solve, they can literally better the world around them.

Here is just one example of a Capstone project:

The student-driven question: How could our solar chimneys be used to their potential?

The Problem:

Harley’s solar chimneys opened and closed with a manual system that could only be enabled by a person going to each floor and guessing at how much to open or close them in order to heat or cool the rooms comfortably.

The Idea:

Automating the solar chimneys based on real-time data interpretation would be more accurate and wouldn’t depend on a person to make the adjustments.

The Solution:

  • Researched programmable solutions that could be built within the span of a year
  • Used Arduino (small, programmable computers) microcontrollers to create a data-logging device to record temperature, humidity, and light intensity.
  • Built circuits to control the solar chimney vents via relays using the Arduino.
  • Installed the temperature collection systems in each classroom and ran all the wire for them throughout the building.

Team Building:

The student recruited these people to assist and consult as an ad hoc team along the way.

  • A faculty advisor
  • A U of R graduate student
  • A U of R professor
  • The building’s architect
  • Another student with construction knowledge to build a user-friendly control panel

Learnings:

  • How to develop and test a hypothesis
  • How to adapt and modify original ideas
  • How to be willing to try something new
  • How to write and communicate about the work
  • How to manage a team of people
  • How to present ideas to an audience
  • How to persevere

Harley Makerspace Featured in TIME for Kids

With over 2 million readers, TIME for Kids magazine engages students with authentic journalism, inspires them to join the national discourse on current topics.

Harley was highlighted in the article, “Maker Moment” about schools with makerspaces and how the students learn from and use them.

Link to the full article: “Maker Moment”

 

Our approach yields impressive results

How do our students perform on apples-to-apples comparisons? Here are our science and math AP exam results for last year:

EXAM

# TAKEN

HARLEY 

AVG.

NATIONAL AVG.

DELTA

Biology

8

4.50

2.92

+1.58

Calculus AB

16

4.44

2.97

+1.47

Calculus BC

5

5.00

3.80

+1.20

Chemistry

7

3.57

2.74

+0.83

Environmental Science

5

4.60

2.68

+1.92

Physics 1

15

3.67

2.51

+1.16

Statistics

14

4.50

2.86

+1.64

44% of Harley alumni since 2007 are working in STEM fields at Google, Lockheed Martin, the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Apple, Harris, and Tesla.

If you are a family that prioritizes great STEM results for your children’s education, Harley School has the best results in Upstate New York. Our students are ready to lead the teams, frame the problems and innovate to solve them. We think putting this knowledge to use is the best tribute to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Our approach yields impressive results

How do our students perform on apples-to-apples comparisons? Here are our science and math AP exam results for last year:

EXAM

# TAKEN

HARLEY

AVG.

Biology

8

4.50

Calculus AB

16

4.44

Calculus BC

5

5.00

Chemistry

7

3.57

Environmental Science

5

4.60

Physics 1

15

3.67

Statistics

14

4.50

EXAM

U.S. AVG.

DELTA

Biology

2.92

+1.58

Calculus AB

2.97

+1.47

Calculus BC

3.80

+1.20

Chemistry

2.74

+0.83

Environmental Science

2.68

+1.92

Physics 1

2.51

+1.16

Statistics

2.86

+1.64

44% of Harley alumni since 2007 are working in STEM fields at Google, Lockheed Martin, the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Apple, Harris, and Tesla.

If you are a family that prioritizes great STEM results for your children’s education, Harley School has the best results in Upstate New York. Our students are ready to lead the teams, frame the problems and innovate to solve them. We think putting this knowledge to use is the best tribute to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Design and Innovation Lab

Design and Innovation Lab is an entry-level engineering and innovation class that exposes students to the basic elements of the design process (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test) and then supports them through a series of increasingly difficult design challenges.

Through this hands-on, Makerspace-based class, students work with core engineering and design concepts and collaborate to solve various problems. Materials and the related tools the students will utilize include cardboard, wood, metal, electronics, digital logic and programming, biology and plants, and more. 

Additionally, students learn the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to operate a baseline set of tools in the Makerspace safely and effectively.

Examples of recent projects:

  • Proposal for making bathrooms handicap accessible
  • Design-build new and improved scratch surface for cats
  • Improve switch for miter saw extension 
  • Coding for bedside lamp

Capstones

Robotics education

This Grade 12 Capstone student organized a Robotics scrimmage between the Harley robotics team and Penfield at Harley on a Friday night. The purpose was to expose the community to robotics. He also taught a handful of flex time sessions about robotics.

Using Python to Simulate NFL Results

This Grade 12 Capstone student gathered results from a year of NFL games and then wrote a code in Python for calculating the likelihood of a team making the playoffs the following year based on predicting wins and losses in each scheduled game.

He applied what he had learned in his computer science course to research already existing code and then revise it to meet his goals.

Apprenticeship with a Master Builder

This Grade 12 Capstone student worked with the maker educator to learn the basics of the makerspace; and created an entrance to the nursery playgorund and signage to mark the area as an official outdoor classroom. 

Biomimicry education

This Grade 12 student created a collection of lesson plans designed to teach the basic concepts and techniques of biomimicry to older elementary school and middle school students. Her curriculum included: team activities, games, instruction on how to use biomimicry resources, and a guided design project. 

The Harley School

1981 Clover Street
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 442-1770

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