Beacon School launches multi-national STEAM program

The Beacon School, an independent school for intellectually curious learners in Stamford, has been chosen as a partner school for Level Up Village, an innovative program that teaches STEAM and design thinking through collaborative, real-life problem solving on an international scale. This unique opportunity connects Beacon with students in developing countries to tackle global issues using cutting-edge technology.

The Beacon School is offering two weekly after-school programs: Global Video Game Designers, a game design, pre-coding, and global citizenship class; and Global Inventors, a 3D printing, CAD design and engineering class. They have been paired with a group of students from Palestine for their Global Inventors program, and for Global Video Game Designers, they will be teaming up with Syrian refugee students in Jordan.

This is the first program that Level Up Village (LUV) has been able to organize with Syrian refugee students, and Beacon is honored to participate. Each class will give students a truly enriching experience as they work together to develop 21st century solutions. “The Level Up Village program is remarkable because it breaks down barriers and opens up a sense of global belonging in our students, all through engaging activities that they can’t wait to complete,” says Tucker Paine, Director of Beacon’s Lower School. “Our students also love recording messages for their global partners and very much look forward to hearing back the following week.”

Launched in 2012, Level Up Village (LUV) (http://levelupvillage.com) currently runs courses throughout the school year, after school, and in summer sessions. LUV has more than 65 participating U.S. schools in 12 states and more than 30 global partner organizations in 19 countries. Targeting “students who want to make an immediate difference in the world while learning about it”, LUV delivers pioneering global STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math) enrichment courses that encourage teamwork, design thinking, and one-to-one collaboration.

LUV features collaboration through the guided exchange of video messages. Students apply design thinking to real-world problems and, in the process, gain a greater understanding of each other’s lives and cultures. In their words, “We believe that, together-in partnership with our schools, communities and Not For Profit organizations-we can create a paradigm shift in how we educate our children. Unencumbered by testing requirements, we have the luxury of being able to push our students toward 21st century skills that have yet to be quantified: intercultural fluency and digital literacy. We believe that kids learn by doing, by applying, by playing. Level Up Village gives them that opportunity-locally and internationally, virtually and physically.”

Founded in 2009, Beacon is an accredited, coed, college preparatory independent day school for intellectually curious students in grades 3-12. Operating at the intersection of progressive and traditional education, Beacon’s core curriculum is aligned with that of other select private schools, but its method of delivery is more personalized, with a 3:1 student to teacher ratio and an individualized approach. Through small-group instruction in a community of inspired learners, Beacon students achieve academic excellence while following their own unique paths. Now home to 35 students with plans to expand to 50 students for the 2016-17 school year, the Beacon School has an average class size of 4-6 students. The main building on its campus is an historic mansion that contains bright classrooms, a science lab, a library, a gymnasium, a performance space, expansive meeting rooms, and ample grounds. The site also includes dormitory housing and a separate building for the lower school.

For more information on Beacon School, contact Meredith Hafer, the Head of School at 203-200-7244, [email protected] or visit us at our Open House on Sunday, Nov. 8, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Photo credit: Bob Capazzo

Photo credit: Bob Capazzo.

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