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.
What makes a better designer today? In Form II this year, we experimented with project-based learning. The boys examined existing chairs and reengineered a personal version using digital tools in technology classes.
Rapid prototyping with technology has become commonplace in many professional services. In this class, the boys explored pragmatic tools including Computer Aided Design, 3D printing and Virtual Reality to produce a minimum viable product. In the third iteration, students built a virtual experience using the Unity programming language and Oculus Rift. Furthermore, the boys scanned ceramic models with Mr. Davis and imported these organic structures into a VR realm where they could be displayed next to CAD models created in technologyclasses. Our class meetings often resembled a studio where boys would “learn, create and problem-solve in an unstructured environment” (MIT Admissions Office, 2013). This process was the intentional result of meaningful collaboration between the art and technology departments. Through student process, our line of inquiry offers a glimpse into the world where learning to become a better designer will include an interchangeable order of experience with computers or clay.
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