Potomac senior Ben Choi has been named a Top 40 Scholar in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. Chosen from a pool of more than 1,800 highly qualified entrants from across the nation, Choi will participate in the final weeklong competition in Washington, DC, this March.
21st CENTURY SKILLS
Our mission inspires us to provide our students the foundation they need to thrive and adapt in a technologically-infused society. Problem solving and effective use of technology is essential for teaching and learning in a global, digital age. Given that technology tools are continually changing, our focus is on providing students with the fundamental concepts while inspiring curiosity and innovative thinking. At The Potomac School, students are exposed to a wide variety of tools, applications, and platforms, integrated daily into their learning experience.
CONFIDENT PROBLEM SOLVERS
In education, innovation comes in many forms, and at its root is the process of challenging and questioning the status quo. Throughout the school day, you will find Potomac students noodling over problems, testing theories, thinking outside of the box, and looking for varied solutions. Teachers challenge students with meaningful problems and offer time to reflect on skills applied and learned, building students into confident problem solvers willing to take risks to advance their learning.
Teachers and students have access to exciting spaces in each division that offer opportunities for hands-on, open-ended activities. For example, fourth grade students design and 3D print comic hero logos, while eighth grade history students create monuments out of assorted materials in the IS Innovation Hub.
Students build their technology foundation and inventive spirit in the Lower School. As the use of technology transitions from toy to learning tool, students grow comfortable with a wide range of applications and resources. The integration of technology into the curriculum is highly valued throughout the Lower School, with students using various applications to support their learning and communication. The critical areas covered in the Lower School technology and innovation program include information literacy, digital citizenship, keyboarding, coding, robotics, and multimedia creation.
In the Middle School, technology use and instruction is a part of every subject area. Students use technology as a creative tool to help them solve problems in their world and create amazing products. Our program's success stems from the collaboration among our academic technologists, classroom teachers, and librarians. We teach students to be effective users of information and intentional thinkers of how they use technology both in school and out. Students also have exciting opportunities to create videos, music, art, presentations, robots, inventions, and instructional materials with a variety of tech tools.
Intermediate School students are curious and effective users of technology. Information literacy skills are critical in all of their courses. Seventh and eighth grade students learn and use increasingly more sophisticated word processing, editing, and graphing as they develop their writing techniques and analyze data for their classes. Imagery, video, and audio expand what students can incorporate into projects. Through the advisory program, students discuss different digital citizenship topics to build their awareness of privacy, security, communication, and collaboration in online environments.
Technology naturally fits into the lives of Upper School students. They carry their own devices to and from classes, easily communicate online with peers and teachers, and seek out creative solutions and ways to present their learning. Students also have many opportunities to further their knowledge in technology-infused classes, including Computer Science, Engineering, Robotics, Architecture, and Information Literacy.
Through teamwork, play, and problem solving, robots help students develop key thinking skills in the exciting field of coding and robotics. In K-5 technology classes, all students engage with VEX robotics through building and coding challenges. Students in grades 6-12 have the opportunity to join a competitive robotics team, offering a motivating environment to learn and push STEM skills to new levels.
The eighth grade Capstone Project empowered students to find a story to tell. In this project, students learned about various forms and structures of storytelling. They each produced a 4-7 minute documentary that captured a story of their own or of a family or community member. Through these stories, the students not only learned how to document a story via video but also the power of moving past a “single story” to uncover connections, awareness, and empathy.
Up, up and away! At the annual Middle School Comic Con, students used green screen magic to leap tall buildings and fly above rooftops.
Eighth grade students were challenged to think about how to help prevent and contain wildfire that strike in the United States. After learning about efforts in place, they competed with each other to use VEX building materials to build the highest, free-standing fire towers. This design challenge iterated the engineering process and inspired students problem solve.
Director of Technology
Academic Technologist, Grade K-4
Academic Technologist, Grade 5-8
Academic Technologist, Grade 9-12
Director of Web Services