21st Century Electives Offered at Jacksonville Country Day School

Electives that students usually don’t see until their first semester of college are being offered at the sixth grade level at Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS). JCDS offers sixth grade students a list of electives such as 3D printing, video production, computer coding, and sculpting.

These STEAM-involved elective classes are held every sixth day of school for one hour. Not only do the electives prepare the students for future careers and opportunities, but each class is a great tool for imparting knowledge.

“The reason for the elective program is to expose the students to possible jobs of the future,” said Chris Kemph, director of development and the instructor of the 3D printing class.

The 3D printing class exposes students to 3D printing technology and develops math and design skills. The goal of the class is to solve a problem using the 3D print system. Some assignments include building a quadcopter and an architecturally perfect city design.

The video production class, which has 16 students, uses iPads provided by the school as their video camera, and they go over tricks and tips in class and edit their work using iMovie computer software. Their projects include making a short “How To” video and a silent movie.

Classes like these prepare students for careers of the future. Even if they choose not to go into a technological or artistic field they are shown many different possible opportunities.

“Everything you do today has an audio visual component,” said technology coordinator and video production teacher Michael Porter.

Technology is not overlooked at JCDS and there is an array of opportunities with the future in mind. The computer coding class gets students into the thought process of a coder and introduces them to coding by having them programming a pong type computer game, building a mini website and a text response system. Students will become more detail oriented and methodical and look at everyday life in a step-by-step manner.

Does your school do something similar?

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