Cleveland's University School Hosts International Conference on Boys "Making" the Most of Their Education.

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Teachers from the across the United States and Canada convene at University School, hosts of this year’s “Boys as Makers” teachers’ conference presented by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition (IBSC).

University School eighth grader Zach Keum leads the US Lego League Robotics Team.

Boys need a reason to learn. When they can get out of the theoretical and investigate things with their hands, the learning becomes more immediate and more relevant, and they reach a deeper level of learning.

As educators know, when boys can get up from their desks, roll up their sleeves, and tinker, create, and build with their hands, they reach a whole new level of understanding.

Nowhere is that better seen than at Cleveland's University School, host of this year’s “Boys as Makers” teachers’ conference presented by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition (IBSC). The conference concludes on April 10. Teachers from the across the United States and Canada have convened at the school’s Shaker and Hunting Valley Campuses to discuss the rising influence of the Maker Movement in boys’ education today.

The conference focuses on designing effective, experiential curriculum that fosters curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving.

“Boys need a reason to learn,” said Steve Murray, University School Headmaster. “When they can get out of the theoretical and investigate things with their hands, the learning becomes more immediate and more relevant, and they reach a deeper level of learning.”

Murray added, “We are delighted to be hosting this conference. It is a rare and wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our hands-on curriculum and to share the vibrancy of Cleveland as a hub of entrepreneurial innovation and creativity.”

In addition to US faculty presentations about design thinking and classroom practice, several speakers have addressed various topics relating to the Maker Movement. The opening keynote was delivered by the coach of a world-class robotics team, David Grant, from the Crescent School in Toronto. Other speakers included Richard Sear from Frost and Sullivan who discussed future technology megatrends, and University School’s own Bob Newill about designing effective curriculum. The final day features Mark Simon of Centerbrook Architects, who will present an architect’s approach to designing creative maker spaces.

US will highlight its new state-of-the-art Manual Arts and Design Center and its maple syrup operation at the Hunting Valley Campus.

During the three-day conference, teachers will visit The Cleveland Clinic’s Innovation Center and Team Wendy, a veritable adult makers’ playground where engineers test new ideas and produce patents ranging from high-tech armor plating for the military to natural gas converter kits for internal combustion engines. An evening reception in Gallery One at the Cleveland Museum of Art, a revolutionary, innovative, hands-on art space, is also planned.

About University School:

Founded in 1890, University School is an independent day school, educating boys in kindergarten through grade 12. The school’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Our dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved.

University School maintains two campuses: the Shaker Heights Campus has 460 students in kindergarten through grade 8; the Hunting Valley Campus is home to 420 students in grades 9-12.

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Fiona Reilly
University School
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