New Department Brings Increased Innovation to Gann

Gann Academy is excited to introduce our new Computing, Design and Fabrication Department.

Gann's newest department includes an expanded computer science curriculum (with three levels of courses allowing for triple the student enrollment of previous years), courses that focus on design and engineering (with planned classes in areas such as 3D design and electrical engineering), and a new Innovation Club for students to identify relevant projects and design and build prototypes. The department will also house Gann’s award-winning robotics teams.

The new department builds on Gann's long-standing work in advanced mathematics, science, and engineering entrepreneurship (Gann students have already been awarded six patents!). "Designing and building real objects, either physical prototypes or computer apps, are an important way of learning," explains Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning Sarah DuBeau-Farley. "It gives student the opportunity to think laterally about solving real problems—drawing on skills in math, science, social sciences, and more, rather than compartmentalizing their thinking. The hope is that students who have taken courses in the department will be asking their English teacher 'Can I build something to go with my poetry assignment?' or their Jewish Studies teacher 'Can I create an app for that?'" 
 
Math Department chair Chris Senhouse is particularly excited about the advanced computing courses. Says Senhouse, "Computer science is mathematics, albeit through a lens of direct application. At its deepest level, it is the study of reasoning and integrative problem-solving that spans both technologies and human languages."

Seth Battis, new chair of the Computing, Design & Fabrication Department, who joins Gann from St. Mark’s School in Southborough, says he is excited by the cross-disciplinary collaborations the department will enable. “I can envision kids building a soap box derby car in physics using laser-cut precision parts or designing and constructing a museum exhibit in a history class. Our hope is to encourage kids to treat technology as a tool, not as a magical black box."
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