The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS), of which Miriam College is a member, recently held its 2017 Conference with the theme “Education Innovation: Building Cultures of Creativity.”
The three-day conference, held from June 25 to 27 at the Marriot Wardman Park in Washington D.C., was well-attended by educators, school heads, girls’ education advocates, innovation experts, researchers, and authors from all over the world. Plenary speakers were from the biggest technology companies such as Google and Instagram, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, and Principle Quest Foundation. They shared numerous platforms where schools, teachers and girls’ learning can be greatly enhanced by innovation initiatives serving as a medium that will bridge the gap between the female millennial learner and her ability to be successful in fields that are perceived to be dominated by male learners.
Miriam College President Dr. Rosario O. Lapus headed the delegation of Miriam College, accompanied by two teachers in the Basic Education Units, and the director of the Administrative Services Division, Agustin P. Alvarez.
Middle School Math teacher Jimmy C. Lapuz and High School Math teacher Alfred R. Sanchez presented the STEAM program of the school titled, From STEM to STEAM to DREAMS: Building A Culture of Innovation in a Girls’ School.
In the session, aptly dubbed “Innovation Odyssey by NCGS”, Lapuz and Sanchez showed how the school has transitioned from a culture of STEM to STEAM and now to DREAMS (Design, Robotics, Engineering/Entrepreneurship, Arts, Mathematics and Social Responsibility). They articulated that innovation is the newest capital and buzz word for institutional growth, with the aim of inspiring and making every Miriam graduate realize her full potential, be it in the arts or in scientific and technological fields.
Much of the interest generated in the MC presentation came from the Philippines’ first integrated Makerspace, the Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center. The NCGS audience asked questions on the conceptualization, construction duration, donors/stakeholders, instrumentation sourcing, and curriculum integration in the MC-HSSIC. Many NCGS members are looking into constructing their own Makerspaces and are willing to network with Miriam College as an NCGS school.
As a side trip, the MC delegates visited the National Museum of Mathematics in Manhattan, New York City to gather ideas on the possibility of constructing a Math Room within the MC campus. The Math Room can be a facility that would translate classroom mathematics learning to real-life applications, use of manipulatives, math simulations, gaming, experiential computations, and fun interactive exhibits.
They also attended a seminar-workshop on design thinking held at Marymount School of New York titled Do Design Discover or D3. The workshop was developed for educators who are passionate about student-centered and constructivist learning and who are interested in the practical implementation of hands-on projects in the K-12 setting.
It focused on empowering participants to become joyful ‘maker’ educators and to imagine how they can integrate making into daily life and infuse it into their teaching. The workshop was collaborative in nature, where Lapuz worked on designing an ultra-utilitarian learner chair, Sanchez on a robotic model of the Kinetic Molecular Theory, and Alvarez on a multi-media robotic floral exhibit.