Posts about Engineering

February 3, 2022

Teaching Resilience with Engineering: Finding Success in Failure

Have you seen your child build a magnificent tower just for it to fall down, or study so hard for a test but not do well on it? We are all familiar with failure and must face it regularly, but when it comes to our children it can be difficult to see them struggle. Enter the desirable traits of resilience and perseverance, as well as the difficult-to-teach skills of critical thinking and problem-solving.

At BASIS Independent Manhattan, we delight in giving students the opportunity to explore problems from new angles, apply their knowledge to the real world, and learn all of this through hands-on work and projects. This type of academic and developmental growth is elucidated by the journey of a PreK-4 student through our spiraling engineering curriculum.

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November 1, 2016

Exploring the Spark in the Classroom: Mr. Opirhory's Art History Projects

If you have attended a BASIS Independent Manhattan information session you know that one of our biggest goals is to guide our students in making connections across all subjects. By pairing passionate teachers with the automony to create engaging lessons, we have the perfect equation which results in incredible "Ah-ha" moments. Originally published by BASIS Independent Brooklyn, the blog post below showcases how one subject expert teacher dynamically bridges the gaps between Art, History, and Engineering. 

Just recently, BASIS Independent Brooklyn sixth grade students were challenged by our newest Visual Arts faculty member, Mr. Opirhory, to step into the shoes of Neolithic humans. Students broke into teams and began exploring design elements of Neolithic structures using only materials available at the time. The project fell on the heels of their History unit on early river civilizations. The idea was to make connections across classes and bring to life the challenges communities faced moving from nomadic life in the Paleolithic Era to agricultural living in stationary structures in the Neolithic.

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“Instead of just showing students, I wanted them to do it,” said Mr. Opirhory. “They were challenged to work in a group, to see how difficult it was to create something functional. I thought all the structures would look very similar, but they are all unique and very fleshed out.”

Student teams researched Neolithic design techniques and Mr. Opirhory discussed building methods such as the waddle and daub. They revisited post and lintel concepts that are often first touched upon in early engineering classes at the school. Then Mr. Opirhory facilitated a discussion of materials that would have been available in the period – clay, dirt, stone, lumber, woven materials – that the groups used to create.

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Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Manhattan is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.

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