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PBL & STEAM

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Project Based Learning at Capital Tokyo International School

Project Based Learning or PBL is when students endeavor to achieve a shared goal through collaboration via engagement in a project. At CTIS, we chose PBL as a means to further connect our school mission and values (CTIS Link) with our curriculum and with the worlds of business and entrepreneurship, another example of how CTIS is bridging the gap between school learning and business experience.

Our PBL curriculum is unique because our pedagogy and internal organization of the PBL  programs are researched informed, drawing from proven best practices which also reflect what would be required in a corporate setting. The five criteria of Project Based Learning at CTIS are:

Students will individually and in groups formulate a driving question that is grounded in their subjects of study, research identified aspects of their driving question, and have agency and choice in the direction of their projects that will be firmly connected to real world problems or issues. Experts in their fields and prominent members of business communities will also be invited to share their knowledge and expertise in PBL classes at CTIS, to guide and mentor students in their final product creation.

Connections to business and entrepreneurship will continue for CTIS students as future graduating students will demonstrate their acquired skills and learning via a final capstone project. The senior capstone project consists of teams of students experiencing entrepreneurship first hand by creating a business with a product or service, and then sharing their final business plan with the larger CTIS community of students, parents and outside experts. We look forward to seeing the creative and innovative businesses, products and services that our collaborating students can achieve here at CTIS in their senior capstone.

Discover, Build, Solve

STEAM at Capital Tokyo International School

Students who have the freedom to explore their educational interests and follow their own inquiries are motivated and make personal learning connections between subjects. At CTIS, transdisciplinary classes that coalesce understanding of core subjects is our answer to supporting our student educational inquiries. We offer STEAM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) to prepare them for their future careers and foster life-long learning.

The benefits of STEAM classes are:

Students are challenged to apply what they have learned from other subject areas, and critically analyze problems to discover collaborative solutions with teammates. Failure is celebrated and considered an essential aspect of the learning process with classroom environments being supportive of the individual and team learning process.

In our elementary school we teach the fundamentals of computer programming with Scratch where students design animated stories and simple games individually and in groups. Students then transition to more complex programming concepts in MineCraft Education by programming the MineCraft agent to complete a series of tasks in a virtual world. As students progress in their understanding of electrical circuits and programming, they will have the opportunity to assemble electronics from Arduino educational kits and programmable robots.

Through the school year, the STEAM classroom will expand into the streets of Tokyo when students visit authentic FAB Labs in the capital city and see innovative solutions being created right in front of their own eyes, creating an authentic real-world experience for CTIS students, further enriching their STEAM classes at CTIS.

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