On April 5, 2019, The Browning School robotics team attended their first FRC competition. FRC is a robotics competition for high school students from all over the world. Our students were able to witness teams from England, China and Turkey compete in this fast-paced robotics challenge. This competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game.
On Saturday, December 1, five Browning boys representing Lower and Middle School co-led a class at the third annual Scratch Day hosted by the Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Scratch Day is a fun-filled event of learning and creating with Scratch.
Recently the inaugural Lower and Middle School Robotics team took the tram to Roosevelt Island to visit the Cornell Tech campus. Why take this group of boys to visit New York City’s newest urban campus? Opened in Fall 2017, the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island is located in Browning’s backyard. It is, itself, a model for innovation that inspires and keeps our high aspirations on track. Mr. Harp’s team was hosted by Citi’s Tech Innovation Department located within the Tata Innovation Center.
Anderson Harp and Melodie Ting served as faculty advisors to the 25 Middle and Upper School boys comprising the executive team and supporting volunteers who organized the second annual TEDxYouth@BrowningSchool event.
From September to February, a dynamic team of organized, self-managed and hard-working individuals met on Tuesday mornings before school to oversee the many requirements of hosting a TEDx event. Following approval of their 16-page application, an amalgamation of Browning’s student talent collectively joined their skills to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience open to anyone in the greater NYC community free of charge, namely, the TEDxYouth@BrowningSchool event. Nearly 100 guests gathered on February 11 in the Kurani Gymnasium for a live speaker series of profound innovators.
I’m pleased to report that both the Middle and Upper School excelled in a regional programming hackathon/codeathon competition held Sunday at Riverdale Country School. The Agile Youth Competition brings schools together for friendly competition and intense challenges related to computer science learned at school. Browning exceeded expectations yesterday adding to our community’s positive reputation as a leader in academic technology and computer programming.
This winter, one of the hottest tech startups littleBits found out about the Form IV Intro to Engineering class offered last spring. A West Coast publicist reached out for an interview and asked if littleBits could publish a case study on the class. Following weeks of collaboration, the final piece is live on the littleBits website for you to read and share alike at littlebits.cc/case-study-the-browning-school
On April 11, Browning’s technology department participated in their first Maker Day, hosted by The Marymount School and littleBits. This free, day-long event was created for educators, students, parents, designers and makers to present projects, attend workshops and explore how digital fabrication and making are reviving and inspiring our classrooms.
Director of Technology Mr. Grill & Technology Integrator Mr. Harp both presented hands-on workshops showcasing curriculum themes from their technology classes. Mr. Grill led a workshop on developing 3-D environments for virtual reality while Mr. Harp taught makers how to invent the Internet of Things. Mr. Harp’s group used littleBits and consumables, such as cardboard, to teach participants to rapidly prototype electronic inventions connected to the cloud.
Browning had a strong turnout that displayed a strong vote of confidence in Interschool collaboration. Browning teachers Ms. Suárez and Mr. Lisciandrello joined in the inventing fun, tinkering alongside Browning parents and students representing all three divisions. It was a special occasion to see Browning boys from Upper and Middle School divisions teaching boys from the Lower division. View photos.
This semester in Form II technology, students explored how they can use design to solve real-world problems. The boys were divided into groups and asked to design a subway station for the year 2035. As the boys worked through the design thinking process, they developed empathy for the future users of the New York City subway system. Soon the boys were crafting problem statements that guided their thinking for the rest of the projects. After ideating multiple solutions, each group focused on their most viable improvements. As the groups started to finalize plans, they made rough prototypes out of foam board and push pins. This allowed them to express their original ideas in tangible artifacts before they created their final models using Adobe Illustrator and the laser cutter. After the Holiday break, each group will have to justify their design decisions through a presentation of their final models to the rest of their class.
Over the past month, Mr. Sambuca's Form II Technology class have been learning how to design three-dimensional shapes. The boys are currently using Tinkercad, a free web-based CAD application that allows the student to drag and drop geometric shapes to create 3D designs. The limited learning curve makes Tinkercad well suited for the K-12 setting, where students learn real computer aided design skills and can apply the knowledge as they move on to professional design tools. The Micro City design project was a two week assignment to test the the skill set on perspective drawing using a city skyline. Students were randomly selected a US city and began to research landmark buildings and different skyline views to get their personal perspective. The students were given design rules and size constraints (100mm long x 100 mm x wide x 100mm high). The micro cities are all available below on Thingiverse for download and will be on display in the 2014 Browning School Art Show. Click here to view the pictures.