Renowned independent girls school, Auckland Park Preparatory School (APPS), has announced the opening of its new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Centre. This multidisciplinary facility is a significant milestone in APPS’ commitment to nurturing the talents and aspirations of young girls, preparing them for a rapidly evolving world.
At this year’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland, global leaders emphasised the importance of fostering critical creative thinking skills in education, bolstered by mathematics and engineering, to ensure a prosperous future. APPS has embraced this vision, with the new STEAM Centre embodying this commitment.
The STEAM centre is designed to inspire and empower APPS students and it features state-of-the-art technologies, a ‘tinkering’ laboratory and collaborative creative spaces that will enhance and uplift the learning experience.
Chantel Jarvis, Headmistress of APPS, says, “We are grateful to be able to provide our girls with a dynamic environment that encourages discovery, exploration, research and innovation. Our new facility reflects our dedication to excellence in education and is tailored to nurture the talents and aspirations of our girls in the various STEAM disciplines, ensuring a bright future for them.”
APPS’ curriculum draws inspiration from international best practice, including expertise from Sweden, Finland, and the Reggio Emilia philosophy to education that promotes a child-centred curriculum, driven by their interests. The focus is on harnessing creativity, art and children’s understanding and thought processes to unlock critical thinking skills, shifting away from traditional rote learning.
Drs Kelsey Glennon and Jonah Choiniere, both APPS parents and scientists, expressed their perspective on choosing a school for their daughter. They emphasised their search for a school that fostered a nurturing educational environment, that cultivates curiosity and both critical and creative thinking skills, ensuring their child is well-prepared for the challenges of the future.
Kelsey Glennon commented on the significance of the STEAM Centre’s launch, “Our entire family is immensely excited about the opening. We are confident that the Centre will engage with our daughter’s curiosity, encouraging her to gain experiences and skills that she can use to take advantage of a future filled with new opportunities.”
The STEAM Centre is also well poised to give back to the broader educational community in its urban Johannesburg context. Learners at the Salvazione School in Brixton, a non-profit institution dedicated to providing quality South African education to underprivileged children, will have access to the Centre and specialised teachers to guide them through various projects and learning experiences.
As APPS proudly opens its new STEAM Centre, it not only exemplifies a commitment to nurturing young girls’ talents and preparing them for a rapidly evolving world but also underscores its dedication to the principles of sustainability and environmental consciousness. Beyond the new technologies and innovative learning space, APPS is deeply committed to linking scientific sustainable practices to a sustainable lifestyle within its community. Initiatives like hydroponic strawberry cultivation, driven by the principles of STEAM, align with APPS’ goal of positively contributing to a sustainable planet.
“Sustainable living is a practice everyone must adopt to ensure a functional planet for future generations. These values, coupled with the critical thinking skills fostered by our STEAM Centre, form the foundation for responsible global citizenship. This holistic approach not only empowers students with the skills needed for a dynamic future but also instills in them the ethical values essential for a brighter and more sustainable world,” concludes Jarvis.