Bloomfield Hills-based Cranbrook Schools has formed an educational collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Edgerton Center, which focuses on a year-round, K-12 science and engineering outreach program, including innovative curriculum content and professional teacher development.
Based on the Edgerton Center’s 20-plus years in the field of K-12 education, the initiative will aim to bring experiential learning to Cranbrook, such as problem-based learning, inquiry, the design thinking process, and more to enhance student engagement at all grade levels and across all content areas.
As part of the collaboration, Cranbrook will also serve as a testing site for the Edgerton Center with the potential to change the way K-12 curriculum is developed nationally.
“For more than a century, Cranbrook has been dedicated to breaking new ground in education,” says Arlyce M. Seibert, director of Cranbrook. “This collaboration is truly a milestone in our approach to experiential learning, with one of the most innovative schools in the country.”
Prior to the official announcement of the collaboration, 70 faculty members at Cranbrook engaged in a workshop this past summer on integrating the design thinking process — a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems — into their curriculum. Since then, students at Cranbrook have used the process to complete math problems, learn about different parts of the country, design a new kind of backpack, and build roller coasters.
A series of MIT-led workshops are taking place over the course of this year and in 2017.
Cranbrook will also utilize a hands-on kit developed by MIT to teach DNA and proteins in cell biology.
Cranbrook is the first school in the Midwest to form an educational collaboration with the Edgerton Center, and the third in the nation.
Established in 1992, the Edgerton Center focuses on hands-on learning programs for engineering and imaging for students and professionals, the international-development program D-Lab, student-run clubs and teams, student machine shops, and a year-round K–12 science and engineering outreach program.
Cranbrook Schools is college-preparatory learning environment, comprised of Brookside, (Pre-K through grade five); Cranbrook Kingswood Girls Middle School and Boys Middle School, (grades six through eight); and Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School, (grades nine through 12 with day and boarding programs). The Schools are a division of Cranbrook Educational Community, which includes also Cranbrook’s Academy of Art, Art Museum, Institute of Science, and other affiliated cultural and educational programs.