Garrison Forest empowers students to realize their full potential and live lives of purpose.

Garrison Forest School

Children are natural learners. Their innate desire to take in and assimilate new information is stimulated by opportunities to explore and problem-solve.

Imagineering takes advantage of the sensory experiences that best feed this innate desire. Our unique program begins as an engineering-focused program in Preschool and continues through 5th Grade to incorporate programming, technology and research skills.

Preschool

The coed Preschool’s Imagineering program offers an engineering-focused, inquiry-driven class, taught by Lower School Digital Learning Specialist Chris Shriver. In class and during Lunch Bunch, Pre-Kindergarten and Threes students will explore the new Imagineering Maker Room in the Preschool, using traditional resources such as blocks, LEGOs, Lincoln Logs, and Tinker Toys to manipulate, design, build and create 2D and 3D objects.

The Pre-Kindergarten students meet with Ms. Shriver once in a seven-day cycle throughout the school year. Ms. Shriver gives the students goals and objectives and then encourages them to explore and experiment with materials that help them develop the frame of mind for early engineering. They also have additional opportunities to use the Maker Room in the afternoons to continue a project started during class or to investigate a new problem, challenge, or set of materials. The Imagineering Maker Room is also available to Threes as a place to build, think and create.

Children's natural curiosity and creativity are a perfect match for the inquiry-driven nature of the class. They develop the resilience and perseverance that come with tackling a challenging problem and practice the social skills that develop from working collaboratively. By using a variety of materials in both traditional and novel ways, they build critical spatial reasoning skills and fine and gross motor skills, and, most importantly, they have fun!


Lower School

For the girls, the skills developed in Pre-K will be supported and extended as they continue their Imagineering in the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade program, where technology, programming and research skills are added to the class time and integrated further into the day.

Lower School students have a dedicated class each seven-day cycle devoted to engineering, programming and technology, and critical reading of non-fiction combined with the practice and development of research skills. In age-appropriate ways, girls explore topics through directed exploration and hands-on manipulation, disassembling, designing and building. Reading and research topics will be generated by the content explored in class. Imagineering explorations have included:

  • Kindergarten and Pre-First: engineering (wind power); programming (kerpoof.com & bitly.com); cross curricular project;
  • 1st Grade: Geo-caching;
  • 2nd Grade: Building and interior design with kits designed by female engineers;
  • 3rd-5th Grades: engineering (electrical); programming (bitly.com); non-fiction reading and research.
  • 5th Grade's culminating Invention Convention project and cardboard arcade. Both projects encompassed engineering, imagination, collaboration, reasoning and much more.
  • STEM Immersion Week, instituted in 2014-2015, gives all 4th and 5th graders an intensive opportunity to spend all day, every immersed in programming. During the second annual STEM Immersion Week, students designed interactive plants using Arduino technology.
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