Technology at Key
Key School has been teaching its students to think like scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians in an interdisciplinary environment since 1958—long before terms like STEM and STEAM existed. In each course, Key’s curriculum is designed to ask its students to analyze, question and construct meaning from information gathered.
Key teachers believe knowledge should be constructed, not delivered, and that real rigor comes from a deep understanding of the complexity of concepts and problems, not from the sheer amount of content covered. To that end, technology is not viewed as a distinct academic discipline, but rather a tool students should have facility to leverage.
Outside of the core academic curriculum enhanced through technology integration, Key also offers its students myriad other technologically focused activities and learning opportunities.
Why Technology Integration?
Technology is seamlessly integrated throughout the curriculum at Key. The choice to incorporate technology in classroom endeavors is purposeful and utilized only when teachers see value added. The School views technology as a tool students can use to solve problems, not as a distinct curricular offering.
Students are taught the skills they need to be successful 21st-century digital citizens through projects embedded within the core curriculum.
Thoughtful technology integration occurs as Key faculty work with the School's two Technology Integrators in support of their curricular goals. Just as technology provides students with multiple means to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of material studied, it also offers teachers multiple ways to represent information and break down learning barriers.
- First School Build It Lab engages children in hands-on, multidisciplinary real-world challenges, integrating principles of science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Lower School Thinkering Studios are dedicated educational makerspaces designed to encourage the development of stamina and intrinsic motivation.
- Coding classes are part of the curriculum for 1st-4th grade students using programs such as code.org, Scratch and Scratch Jr., Blockly, Dreambox, and Makey Makey. Debugging, circuitry, algorithms, coding, visual reasoning, and problem-solving are presented through hands-on projects and games.
- Upper School Computer Science Course teaches fundamental concepts and elements of a computer language
- Middle and Upper School Activities options include Girls Who Code, Build Your Own Website, Computer Science Discoveries, Maker Activities 3D, and Key Robotics among others.
A hearty congratulations to the Middle School Robotics Team, Irrawaddy, that competed in the Maryland State Robotics Competition at UMBC in late February.
Key's Upper School Robotics Team, Lightning Coalition, advanced to the semi finals at the 2017 First Tech Challenge (FTC) Qualifying Tournament held at the US Naval Academy in late January, ultimately placing 5th among the 25 teams competing. With this year's FTC competitions complete, the team is currently preparing for the Sea Perch, an underwater robotics challenge, in April.
Key faculty in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools recently had the opportunity to meet with Key parent Chris Sleat, and a team from his project-based learning company Workbench, for training in the use of droids and drones technology.
Key's Middle School Robotics participated in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge in December, fielding two competition teams—Trophy Hunters and Irrawaddy—in the regional matchup. The competition comprised three segments: a Research Project around this year's theme of Animal Allies that culminated in a presentation and Q&A before a panel of judges, a Core Values segment designed to assess cooperative spirit, and a Robot Game challenge requiring both problem-solving acumen and facility with coding.